Monday, January 4, 2010

State K-12 cuts

The official press release, the Herald-Leader's Bluegrass Policy Blog and the Courier-Journal all cover the big picture on the budget reductions Governor Beshear announced today, including the fact that some P-12 programs will be cut.

By e-mail, Commissioner Holliday offered this more detailed list:
  • $45,000 from assessment funding

  • $86,000 from the Partnership for Successful Schools

  • $399,900 from life insurance benefits

  • $ 765,000 from the KEN education technology network
  • $ 975,000 from the Kentucky Education Technology System

  • $1,714,300 from Family Resource and Youth Services Centers

  • $2,016,400 from textbooks

    $3,000,000 from Read to Achieve carry-forward dollars

  • $1,000,000 from Math Achievement carry-forward dollars

That's a total of just over $10 million in funding lost, and a bit more than 9 percent of the $108 million total spending reductions.

Of the total, the
the KETS, FRYSC, and textbook cuts will definitely reduce dollars scheduled to support students at the local level. The KEN and assessment dollars would have been spent at the state level. The life insurance money was budgeted as a teacher benefit at the rate of about $10 per teacher: a loss but a small one. The reading and mathematics carry-forward dollars may not been promised to specific districts yet.

The "Partnership for Successful Schools" line puzzles me. That's the name of the nonprofit group that merged with the New Cities Institute last year, but the state budget has no line item for that group. It does have a $430,000 per year line item for the Partnership for Student Success, and an $86,000 cut would be an even 20 percent of that line. As a working hunch, I think that's the program that's actually being cut. If that's right, the impact will fall on students participating in that relatively small program.

The most important news for K-12 education, though, is that $30 to $40 million in "excess" SEEK dollars are likely to be distributed to districts. That's worth its own post, coming right up.

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