Despite an additional $100 per-pupil allotment in fiscal years 2023 and 2024, regular funding for public education in the Commonwealth continues to fall further behind, putting Kentucky students – and the Commonwealth as a whole — at a competitive and economic disadvantage.
Last legislative session, the General Assembly increased the SEEK guaranteed base amount, rising from $4,000 to $4,100 per pupil in FY 2023 and then to $4,200 in FY 2024.
The budget action was a welcome, if all too rare, step toward correcting years of funding deficiencies and unfunded mandates.
Sadly, however, the additional dollars fall far short of what our schools need to keep up with mandatory programs and inflationary impacts, and to inspire our students to reach their full potential.
Simply put, we need to get Kentucky public school funding back on track.
To do that, KASS calls on the General Assembly to bring SEEK dollars to the inflationary equivalent of 2008 funding. In other words, we’re asking lawmakers to appropriate the same amount of money as was budgeted when Taylor Swift was still a country music singer, if those dollars had just kept up with inflation.
In today’s dollars, that would mean an increase in statewide funding by more than $1.08 billion, and a per-pupil average increase of $1,775. (It is important to note that these figures are based on December 2021 inflation rates and will undoubtedly be higher when adjusted for December 2022 inflation numbers.)
With that funding, schools can build modern, state-of-the-art learning spaces. Complete needed repairs and upgrades on older buildings. Purchase new, safer and more efficient school buses. And recruit and retain the best teachers in the Commonwealth.
Let’s invest in our future by putting Kids First in Kentucky. Help us make it happen today!