- Total FCPS district-wide per student spending in the 2018-2019 school year was $15,112.00.
- In 2018, FCPS showed $662,667,548 in revenue. This mostly came from from local taxes, state funding, and federal funding, with grants and other revenue streams making up the remainder.
- Local revenue – $304,176,553 (2018): The largest funding source for the school system. Comes from property, motor vehicle, and occupational taxes. It is pooled by the district and distributed to each school based on their funding requests, according to Chay Ritter at the Kentucky Department of Education.
- State revenue – $240,975,587 (2018): State educational funds are generated from state sales and income taxes. Of the total state funding, $96,564,471 was received from the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) program. The SEEK funding program is a formula-driven allocation of state funds to local school districts that is designed to address issues including transportation costs and special needs students as reported by districts.
- Federal revenue – $43,302,030 (2018): These funds are usually earmarked for specific student populations or school programs (Title I-IV, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Head Start). Since the U.S Constitution allocates responsibility for education to the states, federal education funding is meant as a supplement to state and local sources.
Why does this matter?
- School systems are massive undertakings that require huge amounts of support, both financial and relational, in order to effectively serve their communities. Fayette County Public Schools annual budget is larger than that of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and is overseen by the FCPS School Board.
- FCPS oversees operation of the 36 elementary schools, 13 middle schools, 6 high schools, 3 technical centers, and 11 other academic or alternative programs within the county. More schools are being built as population in Lexington increases.
- 41,676 students, or about 13% of Lexington’s total population, are enrolled in the Fayette County Public School System. 90% of school-aged children attend an FCPS institution.
- Students in the FCPS system need access to essential educational and financial assistance programs: 5,130 students are classified as English Learners (EL), 4,985 are classified for Special Education, 2% (837) are experiencing homelessness, and 51% of the total student population qualifies for free/reduced meals.
- FCPS is the second-largest employer in Fayette County and pays an average teacher salary of $59,468.
What is the context?
- Fayette County is one of the state-wide leaders in per pupil spending ($15,112.00) and reliance on state funds, largely due to higher property values, according to Chay Ritter at the Kentucky Department of Education.
- In Kentucky, the average district spends $10,562 per student per year. The national average is $11,392.
- Some 46 percent of K-12 spending nationally comes from state funds (the share varies by state). Cuts at the state level force local school districts to scale back educational services, raise more local revenue to cover the gap, or both. After the 2008 recession, school revenue fell significantly after property values fell sharply, especially in low-wealth districts. Since the recesion, it has been difficult for schools nation-wide to raise significant additional revenue through local property taxes without raising tax rates, a politically challenging task even in good times.
- Despite that the achievement gap between this nation’s wealthiest and poorest students is growing dramatically, evidence shows that adequate and equitable school funding has a dramatic and long-term positive effect on student’s lives.
- Over a period of 12 years, children whose schools were estimated to receive and maintain a 10 percent increase in per-pupil spending (adjusted for inflation) were 10 percentage points more likely to complete high school than other poor children. They also had 10 percent higher earnings as adults and were 6 percentage points less likely as adults to be poor.
How can I get Involved?
Contact FCPS Administration:
- FCPS Director, Financial Accounting & Benefits Services: Rodney Jackson
- FCPS Superintendent: Manny Caulk
Contact FCPS School Board Members:
Sources & Resouces
- Resources Kentucky Department of Education School Report Card Database
- Kentucky Department of Education: SEEK Calculations
- Kentucky Department of Education: FCPS 2018 Financial Audit
- Kentucky Department of Education: Taxes (click link on page to access tax levy amounts per year)
- Kentucky Department of Education: SEEK Adequacy reports and studies: Click link on page to access tax levy amounts per year
- Fayette County Public Schools: Annual Report 2017-2018
- Average National Teacher Salary 2017-2018
- Average National and State Starting Teacher Salary 2017-2018
- NPR: Why America’s Schools Have a Money Problem
- Is There a Better Way to Pay for America’s Schools
- CPBB: Can More Money Fix America’s Schools? cpbb.org,
- CNBC: Most States Have Cut School Funding, and Some Continue Cutting
- NBER: The 5 states that spent the most on students
- The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms Rose v. Council for Better Education (1989) case summary
- The Council for Better Education: SEEK Overview 2008-2018 Inflation Adjusted Statewide Edition
- KCEP: Kentucky School Funding Among Worst in Nation
- Council for Better Education, Adequacy for Excellence in Kentucky Report (1 of 2)
- Fayette County Public Schools
- Kentucky Department of Education
- National Education Association: Rankings of the States 2018 and Estimates of the School Statistics 2019
- Federal Education Funding Explained
- FCPS Fast Facts