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Kentucky proposal calls for full-day kindergarten funding

Kentucky PTA wary of Senate bill that would limit the power of site-based school councils
Posted at 12:51 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 12:51:41-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers advanced a last-minute spending plan Tuesday that would pump money into full-day kindergarten as big-ticket budget items surfaced on the final day of the legislative session.

The spending proposal won Senate passage on a bipartisan 36-1 vote soon after it was advanced by a committee. The measure now goes to the House.

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 also 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.