Governor Asks Local Schools to Participate in State Budget Belt Tightening

Jan 18, 2018

Governor Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin Participate in Hunger Awareness Event on Wednesday
Credit Stu Johnson

Bevin’s budget bill keeps per-pupil funding for Kentucky’s public education students at $3,981 per student, but chips away at support programs and requires local school districts to pay a larger share of student transportation costs.

Administration officials say budget pressures created by the pension crisis has made it “harder to protect” public education from cuts.

Among the 70 programs cut in Bevin’s budget are several within the Kentucky Department of Education’s bureau of Learning and Results Services, which provides grants for afterschool programs, preschool and textbooks.

Overall, the Kentucky Department of Education’s budget is cut by around $200 million each year under Bevin’s plan.

During his address on Tuesday, Bevin said local districts would be required to chip in for health insurance using local savings, which he said add up to $950 million across the state.
“We’re going to ask these districts to tap these funds,” Bevin said.

The state would only pay for 25 percent of transportation costs like school buses under Bevin’s plan, compared to 58 percent under the current scheme.

Local school districts would be ordered to cut administrative expenses by 12 percent each year under the proposed budget. Districts that have administrative costs that are less than 15 percent of instructional costs would be exempt from the cuts.