Kentucky lawmakers call for full-day kindergarten funding

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Kentucky lawmakers advanced a new spending plan Tuesday that would pump money into full-day kindergarten as budget items surfaced on the final day of this year’s legislative session.

The Senate budget committee sent the spending proposal to the full Senate. The measure would need to return to the House for action if it clears the Senate.
The proposal includes $140 million in state funds for full-day kindergarten

Kentucky’s school districts now get state funding for half-day kindergarten, with districts using local taxpayer money to pay for full-day services.

The spending plan includes Gov. Andy Beshear’s proposal to use $575 million in federal pandemic aid to repay a federal loan that kept the state’s unemployment insurance program afloat. The program faced an unprecedented surge in jobless claims last year due to COVID-19.

The bill adds another $50 million in federal money for broadband expansion. Lawmakers already have allocated $250 million of federal aid to extend broadband service to underserved areas.

State government in Kentucky is expected to eventually receive about $2.4 billion in federal pandemic aid. The governor and legislative leaders have been trying to hash out a plan to spend at least portions of the federal aid before the session ends.