The School Finance Working Group is close to ending a year-long mission as it prepares to adopt a final report and recommendations by Thursday, October 1.
On September 19, the Racial Equity and Student Support subgroup presented their recommendations – which focus on closing achievement gaps, increasing the number of educators of color, and funding programs that address education equity.
The subcommittee’s proposals include:
- Racial Equity Aid of $480 million in state aid beginning in fiscal year 2023;
- At least 20 hours of training and support for Education Support Professionals (ESP), as well as minimum starting pay for ESPs of $20 per hour for a total of $13 million each year;
- Increase American Indian Aid by $26.2 million in fiscal year 2023;
- Trauma Incentive Aid of $20 million through grants to address the racial discipline gap;
- Student Support Personnel Aid of $485 million to increase student support staff in schools. Funding would equal $477 times the number of students, with a floor of $240,000. Intermediate districts and cooperatives would receive $100 times the number of students enrolled in their member districts;
- $40 million in scholarships to attract and retain teachers of color by increasing the funding for teacher loan forgiveness program and student teacher stipends.
The Working Group is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, September 24, and adopt its final report on October 1.