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Initiative Would Fund $198M In Projects At Two-Year Colleges, Add Fee For Students

Under a proposed program introduced by Gov. Steve Beshear, Kentucky’s two-year colleges would receive the biggest investment in their history.

Kentucky Community and Technical College System schools could utilize what’s called “agency bonds” for capital projects. 

The initiative, dubbed "BuildSmart," would permit KCTCS to pay for upgrades and new facilities with bonds that require them to pay the debt service through public and private revenue, part of which would come from a new fee unlike any the system has implemented before.

"The total amount required for this would be $8 per credit hour per student, and as these bonds would be issued and as construction and planning for this would take place over the period of a couple years, I'm working with President [Robert] King at CPE to be able to figure out a way that we can stagger this so that it's not one lump sum this fall," KCTCS president Mike McCall says.

McCall says the amount may be split up over two years, costing students $4 per credit hour.

If the plan goes forward, BuildSmart would provide funding for the top projects at all of the state’s 16 KCTCS institutions to the tune of $198 million. None of the dollars, however, would come from the General Fund.

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