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School Funding Task Force recommends fully funding kindergarten, school transportation in Kentucky

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 18:07:45-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A special School Funding Task Force made nine recommendations to improve the funding of Kentucky's education system.

The list of recommendations includes funding for full-day kindergarten, changing the school funding formula, full funding for school transportation, and full funding of the School Safety Act.

The task force praised the recommendations for the good they would do. However, Sen. Max Wise, the Senate education chairman, reminded the group that the entire list may not be possible next year.

"With having nine recommendations on here - this is kind of like having nine things on your child's Christmas wish list," said Wise.

So, which recommendation has the best shot at getting passed? Wise and Rep. James Tipton, the task force co-chairs, think it's full-day kindergarten funding.

"The full-day funding of Kindergarten is probably the most attainable of these nine," said Tipton. "And I say that because in the 2021 session, we put the funds in to fully fund kindergarten for all school districts across the state. That was a $140 million appropriation that's in our current budget. So I feel very strongly and very hopeful that we can implement the full funding of kindergarten going forward."

Where is the money coming from? Lawmakers say the state does have some extra cash going into this next year, but they also believe some changes may need to be made to set more money aside for education.

“We are fortunate that revenues have exceeded our expectations," Tipton said. "So we're going to be going into the 2022 session with more revenue than we have had in the past."

“I think we also got to have some serious conversations about maybe comprehensive tax reform and some other ways to inject revenue into the state,” Wise added.

“We are fortunate that revenues have exceeded our expectations," Tipton said. "So we're going to be going into the 2022 session with more revenue than we have had in the past."