Olivia Krauth, Louisville Courier Journal |
Kentucky lawmakers allocated millions of dollars for full-day kindergarten on the final day of the legislative session after using the funding as a bargaining chip to pass school choice legislation.
An amended version of House Bill 382 allotted $140 million of the General Fund to pay for full-day kindergarten next fiscal year. It passed the Senate on a 36-1 vote and then passed the House on a 90-3 vote. It now goes to Gov. Andy Beshear for a signature or veto. Lawmakers would not be able to override a potential Beshear veto. Kentucky school districts receive funding for only half-day kindergarten, with local taxpayers paying the remainder of the cost for full-day classes. Only the 2021-22 school year is impacted by the measure. The bill does not change Kentucky’s school funding formula, called SEEK, to require full-day funding in the future.