The House and Senate education finance committees passed their respective Education Omnibus Finance Bills on Thursday. These bills will now advance to the floor of each legislative body for a full vote.
We need you to continue the grass-roots campaign to improve the budget targets in the House and Senate. Please urge others to do so as well. The Legislature needs to hear from school board members.
The largest budget item for both the House and the Senate was the basic education formula. However, both bodies fell woefully short of the 3 percent formula increase we are asking for. Let’s take a closer look at their top budget priorities.
House: After the basic education formula, the House’s No. 2 priority was the buyback of the Student Achievement Levy. This move eliminates the statewide education levy (authored by Sen. LeRoy Stumpf) as passed last biennium. This buyback does not increase education funding, it is revenue neutral. The House’s next three priorities were the Early Learning Scholarships, School Readiness and Concurrent Enrollment. The House sent a strong message that early learning is a priority.
Senate: After the basic education formula, the Senate’s No. 2 priority was the long-term facilities maintenance reform. Their next three priorities were School Readiness, lifting the cap on Q Comp, and the Student Support Service Personnel Grant Program (one-time funding over the next four years).