SEEK

melpomen, 123rf Stock Photo

Kentucky is among states that have cut public education funding most deeply over the last decade, according to a new report from the Center on Budget Policy Priorities.

The way Daphne Patton remembers it, it was more money than she'd ever seen.

It was 1990, and the Kentucky Supreme Court had declared the state's school funding system unconstitutional. Within a year, a lot more money started flowing to the poorest school districts, a 50 to 60 percent increase in their budgets.

Patton, an elementary school teacher from Wolfe County in eastern Kentucky, says schools had an abundance of resources, "everything we needed."

This winter, Jameria Miller would often run to her high school Spanish class, though not to get a good seat.

She wanted a good blanket.

"The cold is definitely a distraction," Jameria says of her classroom's uninsulated, metal walls.

Her teacher provided the blankets. First come, first served. Such is life in the William Penn School District in an inner-ring suburb of Philadelphia.

The hardest part for Jameria, though, isn't the cold. It's knowing that other schools aren't like this.

iStockPhoto

Kentucky School districts are bracing for a mid-year state funding cut totaling nearly $8 million.

The cut is relatively small given the state’s $2.9 billion K-12 budget. 

Kentucky Department of Education Associate Commissioner Hirem Desai says the cuts are due to mostly higher than projected attendance which despite the funding cut, is a good thing. 

The shock of the recession still lingers in public schools across Kentucky.

In fact, the results of a recent report from the Washington D.C. based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the state spends $561 less per student in fiscal year 2015 than in fiscal year 2008. Adjusting for inflation, the rate is about 11 percent less than than the 2008 rate.

State legislators are slowly turning the rate around, said Brad Hughes, a spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association.

House Budget Proposal To Mirror Governor Beshear's

Mar 10, 2014
LRC Public Information

A budget proposal to be unveiled by the Kentucky House of Representatives will closely resemble the $20 billion biennial budget outlined by Governor Steve Beshear.

House Appropriations and Revenue chair Rick Rand says that chamber’s budget will be virtually the same as the governor’s, specifically in the area of education funding. It will largely preserve Beshear’s requests for the funding formula known as SEEK and implementing raises for teachers.