Published Online: April 27, 2010
Published in Print: April 28, 2010, as Education Bills Die in Ky. Legislature

Capitol Recap

Education Bills Die in Ky. Legislature

| Kentucky | Both major education reform bills introduced in the course of Kentucky’s 2010 regular session died after passing one chamber of the legislature but failing to advance in the other.

Gov. Steve Beshear
Republican
Senate:
17 Democrats
20 Republicans
1 Independent
House:
65 Democrats
35 Republicans
Enrollment:
636,188

A bill to raise the age of compulsory attendance in high school to 18 from 16 by 2016 passed by a 94-6 vote in the House, but failed to clear the Senate. The bill was supported by Gov. Jim Beshear, a Republican, who made it one of the centerpieces of his State of the State address earlier this year.

A second bill, to establish charter schools, was widely viewed as an attempt to strengthen the state’s bid for a share of $4 billion in federal Race to the Top Fund grants. States with an environment friendly to charter schools receive additional points in the competition for those education improvement grants, which are financed with economic-stimulus money.

Among other provisions, the bill would have permitted only school boards to authorize the publicly funded independent schools. The bill had faced strong opposition both from teachers’ unions and many school administrators.

The legislature did not complete work on a two-year budget bill by April 14, the last day of the session. In fiscal 2010, K-12 public education received $2.94 billion.

Vol. 29, Issue 30, Page 20

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