April 14, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact:
Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director
Perry Papka, Senior Policy Director
Prichard Committee Statement on State Budget
We were encouraged to learn of the agreement lawmakers have reached on a budget for the upcoming biennium. Maintaining investments in early childhood and P-12, including the SEEK formula and other key programs such as preschool, safeguards the building blocks of education for Kentucky’s children.
On the other hand, while we recognize the need for compromise, further budget reductions for postsecondary institutions threaten the access to affordable, high-quality postsecondary opportunities needed for the Commonwealth to reach its full potential. Increases in student financial aid can mitigate some of these impacts and we are hopeful the lottery-supported, need-based CAP and KTG grant programs are funded at the level required by statute. Additional student supports, like the proposed “Work Ready” scholarship, may prove beneficial over time.
The apparent inclusion of a performance-based postsecondary finance model in 2018 is what we hope will be the first step in substantially linking public investment to actual outcomes and measures of quality and performance.
The public pension crisis has placed a significant strain on the rest of the state budget, making it more challenging to fund education at all levels. The substantial funding included for the public pension funds will hopefully ease this pressure in future years and not crowd out funding for education.
As a whole, in the face of significant fiscal challenges, we appreciate that lawmakers gave every effort to ensure Kentucky maintains support for a seamless web of educational opportunities necessary for success in school, career and life.
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent statewide advocacy organization dedicated to the improvement of education for all Kentuckians.