Kentucky educators see preschool as a worthwhile investment but are facing dwindling funds

09/21/2012 03:56 PM

The first few years in child’s life are crucial in helping them prepare for elementary school. And Kentucky has been using a chunk of its 1999 tobacco settlement money from cigarette makers to improve preschool programs.

The good news is that it’s been a creative source of dedicated funding. The bad news is that as fewer people smoke, that money has been shrinking.

Pure Politics looked into what that money goes to and how teacher training and coordinating the goals of these programs is even more important for preschools than even the elementary school level. Here’s the report:

Gov. Steve Beshear also has called for expanding access to early childhood education by increasing the amount of money to pay for more children from low income families to attend.

The state already pays for four-year olds whose family makes 150 percent or less of the poverty rate. Put simply – we’re talking about families of four that have an annual income of $33,500 dollars. Everyone else has to pay for their pre-schoolers to enroll in pre-kindergarten classes.

Beshear wanted to expand the funding to cover children from families earning 160 percent of the poverty level. But legislators moved the proposed $15 million over two years for that to pay for other areas of state government.


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