Friday, April 4, 2003

Second study says Kentucky schools underfunded

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - For the second time in as many months, an exhaustive study of education funding concludes that Kentucky schools need far more money than they receive.

For Kentucky to meets its overall education goals, the state should be spending an extra $740 million per year for preschool-12th grade, according to the report delivered to the Kentucky Board of Education on Thursday.

Last month, a report commissioned by a coalition of school superintendents and school board members set a figure of $1.16 billion a year. The two studies used different methods and made different assumptions about individual education initiatives.

"We have a constitutional responsibility to adequately fund our schools," Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit said.

"We're in the process of trying to define what an adequate education is."

The new study, by consultants Lawrence O. Picus and Allan Odden, says "state of the art" school financing would require spending to be increased by $565 million per year for kindergarten-12th grade and $175 million per year for preschool.

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