School districts pay for the construction and renovation of school facilities from a combination of state and local fund sources. The use of these funds may be unrestricted or restricted.
Unrestricted funds include money in the school district’s general fund, which is derived from state’s Seeking Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) program. These funds are used to pay for staff salaries, school programs, transportation, maintenance, and (to a limited extent) construction.
The SEEK program involves a formulaic approach to allocating state funds to local school districts. Districts are required to levy a minimum equivalent tax of 30 cents per $100 of assessed property to participate in the SEEK program. Recent SEEK calculations and allocations to individual districts are provided on the Kentucky Department of Education’s website.
Restricted funds are reserved for capital construction and major renovation projects. With the passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) in 1990, the state has funded school facilities through a three-pronged approach based on a district’s size, wealth, and need.