Gov. Beshear has no higher priority than fighting for our students, educators and public schools. From the day he was elected, Gov. Beshear has put education first. He started by announcing that Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, a former public educator and coach, would be Kentucky's Secretary of Education and Workforce Development. In this administration, a teacher is leading teachers.
His first action as governor was to reorganize the state board of education and appoint new members who support public education, including a superintendent of the year, an inductee into the National Teaching Hall of Fame and a former president of the University of Kentucky. The current board is the best qualified in recent memory and each member will prioritize our students and our schools.
In his first month in office, the governor announced the state would waive all testing fees for first-time GED test takers, removing the financial barrier for Kentuckians trying to further their education and better provide for their families. This will help more than 335,000 Kentuckians who lack a GED or a high school diploma take the next step in their education and career, building a brighter future for themselves and their families.
When the governor submitted his "education first" budget proposal, he included a $400 million increase in education spending over the next biennium. That investment would give our teachers a much-deserved $2,000 raise and it allows for a 1% increase in the SEEK formula, increasing per pupil funding at every public school across the Commonwealth. The budget also increases funding for every higher education institution by 1%, eliminates performance-based funding, and designates $200 million in bonds from the Higher Education Resurgence Fund to rebuild aging infrastructure at colleges and universities.
The governor hopes to make every Kentucky family proud by investing in our schools and helping every child in our state grow up to be the best they can be.