This Video Update features FSBA Interim Director Bill Graham providing a quick recap of some of the major education bills that were considered last week, including the House version of the Assessment and Accountability bill — HB 7069 — which has passed the House and is now awaiting consideration in the Senate. In addition, this video provides an overview of the initial budget proposals set forth by each chairman of the House and Senate Education Appropriations Committees. (Scroll down below the video for more information)
K-12 Education Budget Proposals
Both budget proposals increase overall funding for K-12 by about $750 million — about a 4% increase over the current year – with the House proposal providing about $20 million more than Senate in total education funding. The House focuses on increasing funding for specific programs — for example, the House provides substantial increases in funding for Digital Classrooms, the Sparsity Supplement, Safe Schools, Reading Allocation, and Supplemental Academic Instruction. In comparison, though it provides less total funding, the Senate provides more funding flexibility by focusing much of the increase in the Base Student Allocation, increasing it by $152 over the current year and substantially more than the House budget proposal. It is important to point out that the initial Senate education budget proposal does not include an allocation for Digital Classrooms at this time because the Senate has indicated that it wishes to gather more information from DOE before committing to an allocation amount. In addition, the Senate proposal creates new Federally Connected Student Supplement intended to support educational services in districts that have large populations or tracts of land tied to military bases, Indian reservations, or other federal property.
Action requested: Please contact your legislators and thank them for their commitment to increasing education funding for 2015-2016. Urge them to provide as much flexible funding as possible while also ensuring sufficient funding for state required categorical programs.