State P-12 Funding: A Final Summary of The New General Fund Budget

by | Apr 27, 2018

On its last day, the General Assembly used, House Bill 265 to make some final modifications to the state budget for the next two fiscal years.HB 265 has now become law without the Governor’s signature, including a final P-12 change removing some General Fund resources to assist school districts struggling with declining revenue from unmined minerals. So, the time is right for a summary of the full state funding plan for P-12 education.

Compared to the enacted budget for the current 2018 fiscal year, the state General Fund budget for fiscal 2019 will provide:

  • $21 million more for facilities
  • $14 million more for school district employees’ health insurance
  • $11 million more for teachers’ retirement (employer match)
  • $3 million more for the safe schools program
  • $0.1 million more for Kentucky School for the Blind
  • $0.1 million more for Kentucky School for the Deaf
  • $1 million in new funding to pay Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam fees for students with low family incomes


  • $0.3 million less for the Mathematics Achievement Fund
  • $0.4 million less for gifted and talented services
  • $0.4 million less for SEEK Base/Tier 1/Transportation
  • $0.6 million less for state agency children
  • $1 million less for Read to Achieve grants
  • $2 million less for extended school services
  • $3 million less for family resource and youth service centers
  • $6 million less for preschool
  • $9 million less total for smaller line item programs funded for less than $5 million in fiscal 2018
  • $2 million less for Kentucky Department of Education funding not in line items
  • No funding for professional development,
  • No funding for textbooks and other instructional resources

Three other changes in the bill, not included within KDE’s budget, will also matter for P-12 education. Those changes (again comparing enacted fiscal 2018 to the bill’s fiscal 2019 appropriations) are:

  • $3 million less for the Education Professional Standards Board
  • $5 million less for the School Facilities Construction Commission
  • $83 million more for the separate Teachers Retirement System appropriation aimed at covering retirement benefits for work done in past years

Our two-page summary shows added detail, including changes in the 2020 budget and a detail page on the smaller programs.

This is a tough budget. A small increase in the SEEK base guarantee per pupil will come with cuts to multiple programs that support teacher learning and student support, including the elimination of textbooks, the main professional development program, and a set of other smaller programs that have worked in the past to help teachers increase their effectiveness. Our shared work to build excellence with equity will be harder under this funding plan.


Since 1983, the Prichard Committee has worked to study priority issues, inform the public and policy makers about best practices and engage citizens, business leaders, families, students, and other stakeholders in a shared mission to move Kentucky to the top tier of all states for education excellence and equity for all children, from their earliest years through postsecondary education.

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