Washington, D.C. (April 11, 2022) – Save the Children Action Network applauds the Kentucky state legislature for including funding for full-day kindergarten in the state budget, signed today by Governor Beshear. Currently, while the majority of school districts offer full-day kindergarten, Kentucky only funds half-day kindergarten, leaving local school districts responsible for making up the difference. With many school districts unable to make up this difference, too many Kentucky children are unable to access full-day kindergarten, leaving them at a disadvantage.
“This is a tremendous victory for Kentucky’s kids, families and future. We applaud Kentucky’s policymakers for putting aside party politics to prioritize children in this momentous way, and commend Governor Beshear for passing the budget into law.” said Omar Salinas Chacon, Kentucky State Manager for Save the Children Action Network. “State-funded full-day kindergarten will ensure all children, regardless of their zip code or socio-economic status, have access to the best possible start to their education and life, setting them up for long-term success.”
This investment will free up an additional $126 million in local school districts that can go towards implementing other vital programs that will benefit children.
“We’re excited to witness the far-reaching benefits this investment will yield now and long into the future,” continued Salinas Chacon. “We look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to ensure Kentucky’s children are prioritized, and hope this year’s bipartisan spirit continues into the 2023 legislative session. After all, an investment in our children is an investment for our future. ”
Throughout the legislative session, Save the Children Action Network worked closely with coalition partners, such as the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, the United Way of Kentucky and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, to advocate for this funding. In further support of full-day kindergarten, Save the Children Action Network advocates called their legislators, wrote constituent emails and met one-on-one with legislators. Save the Children Action network will continue to work with coalition partners and policymakers to ensure children are prioritized and given the best possible start to life.