An effort by Governor Steve Beshear to expand preschool services in the commonwealth did not make it into the final state budget.
Beshear put a $15 million appropriation for preschool in his budget proposal. The House cut that figure in half and funded other education programs with what was left. The Senate struck all the money, saying it wouldn't be right to expand some programs while slashing others. And after days of budget talks, the Senate won the argument.
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Executive Director Stu Silberman credits Governor Beshear for bringing expanded preschool services to the attention of the General Assembly. He says,
“We’re gonna continue to push on that, we believe in it; it’s part of our core. I think with the governor putting the 15 million dollars in to start with, brought a lot more attention to what the need is. So there are a lot more people out there supporting it now than there were before.”
House Speaker Stumbo says there is a bright spot for education in the budget. Lawmakers agreed to set aside $100 million for future school construction.