Governor Matt Bevin’s budget bill would keep per-pupil funding for Kentucky’s public education students at its current level. But the plan would still chip 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, pre-school and textbooks.
Overall, the department’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.
"This is exactly what it was intended for. For times like these that try men’s souls.”
Under Bevin’s budget proposal, local school districts would have to pay for 75 percent of transportation costs like buses for students.
That’s up from a little over 30 percent under the current formula.
Bevin said during his budget address that school districts would be required to dip into their savings.
“It’s over 950 million that are currently being just held in a reserve fund. We’re going to ask these school districts to tap these reserves."
Under Bevin’s two-year budget bill, school districts would be ordered to cut administrative expenses by 12 percent each year.
Districts that have administrative costs that are less than 15 percent of instructional costs would be exempt from the cuts.