FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Legislation prefiled by Representative James A. Tipton would make state funding for the entire cost of full-day kindergarten a permanent expenditure. Tipton, who co-chairs both a budget subcommittee on education and a special task force charged with studying kindergarten through 12th grade education funding, prefiled BR 275 on September 9.
“One of our top priorities is to help all children reach their full potential. That starts with creating clear, affordable pathways for learners to grow and succeed,” said Representative Tipton, who has long been an advocate for public education. “Not only is kindergarten their first classroom experience, but the concepts taught pave the way for a lot of basic skills each of us uses in everyday life. The bottom line of this funding is eliminating any opportunity gaps while opening those doors for families across the Commonwealth.”
The vast majority of Kentucky’s school districts currently offer full-day kindergarten programs. However, the state only funds half of the costs—essentially half a day—and districts make up the difference with local taxes or tuition and fees. The General Assembly has debated funding the full cost for decades, and made a one-time investment of $140 million to do so in the current budget.