SEEK Per-Pupil Guarantee Funding Declines

Graph courtesy of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.

Under a school safety bill signed into law last spring, Kentucky’s public schools will see more counselors and school resource officers, along with an increased focus on equipping school staff to recognize and respond to students’ traumatic experiences.

But lawmakers will have to contend with one key sticking point with the start of this year’s legislative session Tuesday – how to fund improvements laid out in the School Safety and Resiliency Act.

Lawmakers will weigh several competing priorities as they craft a two-year state budget this session – including a potential budget shortfall topping $1 billion over the biennium. However, the leader of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents said he’s confident lawmakers will make state funding for the bill a priority.

“Safety is paramount to everything we do in education,” KASS Executive Director Jim Flynn said.

In partnership with the Kentucky School Boards Association, Flynn said KASS has made the case to lawmakers about the recurring cost of hiring additional personnel and safety upgrades to school facilities.

“Many superintendents are concerned about the facility improvements and having a funding stream to make those happen,” he said.

Many districts, including Warren County Public Schools and the Bowling Green Independent School District, have already been working to boost the number of mental health professionals and resource officers in their schools.

Citing an estimate from the Kentucky School Boards Association, WDRB in Louisville reported that implementing the legislation would cost school districts at least $121 million more each year. Joshua Shoulta, director of communications for the KSBA, echoed that estimate in response to a question from the Daily News.

“From the data we have collected from Kentucky’s school districts, $121 million for counselors and resource officers represents a bare minimum cost estimate to comply with the School Safety and Resiliency Act,” Shoulta wrote in an email, adding that amount doesn’t take into account the additional cost of fortifying school entrances.

“That’s on top of the $18 million needed for improvements to school facility safety features. (The) KSBA and other education groups will continue to advocate for adequate state funding of our public schools, including monies designated for school safety,” Shoulta wrote.

Despite its importance, state support for the safety upgrades districts are currently investing in is just one piece of the equation, Flynn said.

Having ousted Republican Gov. Matt Bevin from office last year, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has promised teachers an across-the-board $2,000 pay raise.

He’s also vowed to boost spending on Kentucky’s K-12 schools, with the current amount of per-pupil funding in Kentucky reaching $4,000. Some have claimed that amount has risen to historic highs in recent years.

However, per-pupil funding through the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky program represents both state and local funds, and according to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, the state’s share has declined over the past decade.

Additionally, when inflation is factored in, total per-pupil funding has been falling for the past decade, according to the KCEP.

Schools have also faced cuts in other areas, from school transportation to preschool and extended school services, textbooks and teacher training, according to the KCEP.

At the same time, Flynn said, Kentucky is facing a teacher shortage and current educators are being asked to take on increased responsibilities, from playing social worker to counselor and law enforcement.

“We need to be mindful of everything we put on our teachers’ plates,” he said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

(9) comments

Econobot

Crime follows poverty and inequality. That's why crime is skyrocketing in this formerly great area of the state. It used to be top 3 or 4 or 5 counties economically. now it's bottom 95% nationwide on wages, and is at half the median weekly wage for the state overall. They have absolutely destroyed it. And in favoring terrible employer practices they are wrecking the ability of nuclear families of citizens to remain intact while working and survive it. I really just can't say enough about how shameful it all is. Everyone is catering to the interest of those who benefit from bad. Nobody is looking and going what is the structural changes that are needed to stop it from being so. Even Western is lobbying for workforce discrimination programs instead of pushing for universal higher education like the 17 smart states. My alma mater is pushing for my degree to be more worthless and stupid every single day. The city government is helping them. The employers who want refugees full time and citizens contingent through temp services and without children, are loving it. The state government is fostering it by paying ever more money to those who's job is to build and integrate such behavior into working systems for the young. The school system is pushing South Africa narratives in the poor schools and Harry Potter fantasy narratives in the rich schools. They are all in on it. Some one has to say "no more money to people who benefit from disaster" and instead allocate the money so the good things - nuclear families are able to effectively make decisions in a marketplace that will help everyone.

The state should go Chinese and let people move with subsidy for that purposes. Then all the skilled males can live since they are wanted here anyway. Those women who want to be with them can leave too, and have their nuclear family away from the poverty and crime.

Econobot

Better idea: Instead of giving the educational system more money, do the right thing and help everyone. Offer any family that wants to move out of the state a one time check for 6,000. Of that 128 Million they requested, 21,333 families could depart the state. That would drive up wages for those who remain. The refugee communities would then have a demand for labor.

Give 6,000 to every family, one time so they can pay first and last month in another state and rent trucks to get the hell out of the poverty and orphan hellscape they are making.

Le Ecrivain

We wouldn't be talking about teachers doing law enforcement and resource officers in every school if they turned the state into a third world nation when compared to the majority of the country economically. It's like the government wants to keep the level of orphans high and so they are producing as much poverty as they can to ensure that it's as much like central and southern africa as they can make it.

OccupyBowlingGreen

We've got 2 trillion dollars = $2,000,000,000,000 Republican Bush threw away on WAR to murder people but we can't afford things that actually help our population?

Enough Already

Because Democrat Obama doubled our national debt from 10 trillion to 20 trillion dollars on "shovel ready projects", skids of cash to Iran, solar companies that took the money and declared bankruptcy, etc. we can't afford things that actually help our population.

There, fixed it for you!

Econobot

We can't have things that actually help the population because for years all the right wingers were so busy shouting down socialism as evil and wound up only giving it to the rich, the government employees, and divorced women. They basically burned their own feet off if they were working men. We can't have nice things because right wingers hate nice things and so only the special interest groups with powerful enough lobbies end up getting them, and that leaves the normal people in a gap that produces suffering.

Enough Already

There is evil on both sides of the aisle but socialism is inherently evil. History is full of failed socialist experiments. Those benevolent government leaders you long for tend to turn into government dictators who then silence the opposition as they grow rich off of the country they run. Capitalism gives you the same chance as your neighbor and is only limited by how competitive and determined you are. Although I have no use for importing 3rd world people under the guise of "refugees", there are some here who are go-getters and have grown wealthy just like native born citizens because they were hungry for success. They weren't satisfied waiting on government to make they successful. They went out and did it themselves. There are many stories of people like this. Socialism does not work and never will because the capable people are competitive and want to better their existence. When they take power they do. Greed always takes over. You can keep it in check or opt for socialism and trust some bureaucrat to make you successful. The slugs of society prefer to agitate for social programs instead of working and planning to better their lives.

We can't have nice things because whiny democrat/liberal.socilast/COMMUNISTS see the answer to everything as central government handouts. Our governments have pissed away taxes on social programs of every stripe with no results for decades. There are no results because there is no incentive to change your behavior while you are being fed, clothed and housed on someone else's income. You have a choice. You can keep whining about your perceived injustices or do something about it. In this country moving to a leftist state that you so admire is always an option but you won't like it there either because a little is never enough and there is no such thing as too much when your goal is to become a ward of the state.

Econobot

They don't want to help the population. That want the majority suffering as much as possible so the licensed crews of administrators, mental health professionals, police agents, have an ever increasing role to play. The vast majority of paychecks in the state come from the government. They are controlling the means of production.

You are living under communism and socialism now. That's why the population has an increasing probability of falling into to poverty every year in this 'best place to live' region. They are destroying the economy on purpose to engineer a society where the social capital is also controlled by the government. Social workers, doctors -- all of these people get their money from the government. Their interest is in more orphans, more poverty, more suffering. What will they do without it? Enter the bread lines themselves? Fat Chance.

Kentucky has turned on those people who didn't fall on the side of the divider that assigns socialism beneficiary status..

Econobot

I'm not saying those people are individually bad, although some are. I am saying that's leviathon. An army of social workers doesn't want themselves to go out of business and have to beg for jobs anywhere that will take them like some unemployed white guy. An army of Medicaid payment recipients doesn't fewer Mediciaid beneficaries. It doesn't want healthier people who have the time and skill to cook good food. An army of police don't want a life of boredom. An army of school administrators doesn't want parents with economic resources who might have a chance at holding administrators accountable in any useful fashion. The fundamental question is always "Cui bono". Who benefits? Kentucky is now structured such that it is an ever growing apparatus that feeds on an increasing percentage of it's people in poverty every year. I don't think people realize just how horrific that is. It's not more people, it's an increasing ratio of the population is poorer in Warren County every year. It's the only major place at replenishment with children for education -- and it's all being done via refugee relocation matching almost the entire refugee count for California. How do they plan to handle it? They are indoctrinating and working for that. They are not building the children for a future like is present elsewhere. In TN, OH, NH, or even FL, or IN. They are educating, training, and indoctrinating for the local regional nightmare that is in an economic socialism super cell.

Even the local employees are feeding on the low wage and that's why there are so many with work schedules that are incompatible with school. That's why there are so many who only hire through temp services if you were born here, but if the refugee support networks want you in, you get a full time job with benefits above median pay on a schedule no child-raising citizen can handle since their spouse, if they even have one, was not conditioned to stay home and care for children like immigrants from other countries were.

The state should simply let people leave or relocate. Instead of paying more people to feed on misery - cui bono - they should allow people to relocate like China does. Even to Louisville or something would help.

It's such an unholy nightmare and it was done with direct involvement by leadership. One doesn't think that government people sit around and specifically make plans to impoverish structurally sound areas, but they do. And that's what they have done in this county.

Failure to lead has led to the problem with demographics in Louisville and Lexington because the state is beholden to the whims of business interests who don't care about schedules or work life integration if the bulk of their employees were historically male.

No further socialism will help the population if it isn't applied across the board. It has to be applied equally to everyone so that efficiencies in the market can make it work. Otherwise they are paying people whose very existence is predicated upon the world being crappier in an ever increasing proportion.

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