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Educators, Lawmakers Looking for SEEK Funding Increase

A new effort is underway to get funding for Kentucky's SEEK program back to previous levels.
Lobbying efforts are underway to restore funding to education in Kentucky . It continues to be down from pre-recession levels, and that's hurting several school districts.

In math, there are problems and answers. The dilemna Kentucky educators face isn't on a white board, it's on paper.

"A time ago, we used to have money they gave us for textbooks, but that money has fallen by the wayside," says Owensboro Middle School Principal George Powell. "They haven't funded textbooks in the past 5 to 6 years."

The SEEK programs helped districts like Owensboro Public Schools pay for textbooks, teacher training programs, and other services. But the amount schools get per student has dropped by $40 since 2009.

"If you think about the perspective state wide, you're talking about 700 million less being funded through education than in 2009," says Owensboro Public School Superintendent Nick Brake.

"A lot of those things we've had all these years have been cut, and cut, and cut," Powell adds. "Now, we're left with what we got."

But the answer to this problem could be found in Frankfort. Lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson say seek funding must be restored to 2008 levels.

"We've got to support early childhood to get them ready for that 1st grade and be there for our teachers in the education system, K thru 12," says Abramson.

"The more funding we can get the more resources we can allocate to each student," Powell says.

More funding equals more resources. That's the answer, educators say, can solve this problem.
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