Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Kentucky
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Kentucky has a primarily student-based funding formula. It assigns a cost to the education of a student with no special needs or services, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students both through program-specific allocations and by applying multipliers to the base amount to generate supplemental funding for certain students.

The categories of students generating supplemental funding in Kentucky are low-income students, English language learners, students with disabilities, students identified as gifted, and students enrolled in career and technical education programs.

source(s):

Source 1
Source 2
Personal Communication from Charles Harman, Director, Division of Budget and Financial Management, KY Department of Education, on 5/2/16

Base Amount

Kentucky has a fixed base funding amount per student. For FY2016, the per-student base amount was $3,981.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would be funded at that level.

source(s):

Source 1

Expected Local Share

Kentucky expects school districts to contribute revenue to the funding of public schools. The amount each district is expected to raise for its education costs is based on its property values: each district is expected to contribute $3.00 for every thousand dollars of assessed local property wealth for the purpose of funding its schools.

Once the state calculates the total amount of funding necessary to educate students within a district, it subtracts the expected local contribution and provides the difference in the form of state education aid. School districts in Kentucky may not raise less money locally than the expected amount, but they may raise more, subject to certain limits. District rates are subject to approval by the Kentucky Board of Education.

source(s):

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §160.470, 132.010, and 132.017

Student Characteristics
Grade Level

Kentucky does not differentiate funding based on students’ grade levels.

English-Language Learner

Kentucky provides increased funding for English language learners. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.096 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

All students with limited in English proficiency receiving instruction in a district are eligible to receive this supplemental funding.

source(s):

Source 1

Student Poverty

Kentucky provides increased funding for students from low-income households. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.15 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

Students are eligible for this supplemental funding if they qualify for free lunch (but not reduced-price lunch) under the National School Lunch Program.

source(s):

Source 1

Special Education

Kentucky funds special education using a multiple student weights system, providing different levels of funding for different categories of students. Students are assigned to 3 different categories based on their specific disabilities.

It does so by applying different multipliers to the per-student base amount for students in these categories. The multipliers range from 1.24 to 3.35, depending on the disability.

The state budget also includes line items for the Kentucky School for the Blind and the Kentucky School for the Deaf.

source(s):

Source 1
Personal communication from Charles Harman, Director of Budget and Financial Management, Kentucky Department of Education, on December 2, 2015.

Gifted

Kentucky provides additional resources for gifted and talented students. It does so at an amount proportional to each district’s total enrollment.

The total amount appropriated for this purpose in FY2016 was $6.62 million.

source(s):

Personal Communication from Charles Harman, Director, Division of Budget and Financial Management, KY Department of Education, on 5/2/16

Career and Technical Education

Kentucky provides specific funding for career and technical education programs. It does so through direct support for Area Technology Centers and by providing an allocation for each student enrolled in a locally operated Career and Technical Center.

Area Technology Centers do not receive regular per-student base funding. Instead, they receive funding directly from the state for personnel and a portion of their operating expenses. In FY2015, the state provided $17.3 million to Area Technology Centers. (This allocation also includes funding for secondary students served in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.) Districts may also operate Career and Technical Centers. Students in these centers generate regular per-student base funding and additional funding in the amount of $1,260 or $1,800 apiece, depending on the program.

Some schools receive additional state funds for energy Technology and Early College pilot projects.

source(s):

Source 1

Community Characteristics
District Poverty

Kentucky does not provide increased funding based on the concentration of students from low-income households in a particular district.

Sparsity and/or Small Size

Kentucky does not provide increased funding for sparse districts or small schools.