Early this morning the Senate Appropriations Committee revealed their long awaited version of the FY21 budget.  Even though the predictions were dire and it is still financially challenging to districts- some of the key points of concern were addressed.  Here are some highlights of the current Senate version:

Deductions from this version:

QBE cut by 1 billion dollars or 11%

Pupil Transportation cut by 15 million

Dual Enrollment cut by 11 million

GNETS reduced by 6.8 million

Preschool disabilities down by 4.5 million

State Schools down by 3.3 million

RESAs cut by 1.6 million

Computer Science PD grants down by 94 thousand dollars

Chief Turnaround Office – Gone by 1.5 million

CTAE Grants -Gone by 2 million

School Nurses cut by 104 thousand Dollars

Extended Day/Year reduced by 1.6 million dollars

AP STEM Exam testing cut by 2.2 million

State testing reduced by 10 million (actual savings from not administering Milestones this spring)

PSC reduction by 474 thousand Dollars

GOSA transfers 11.8 million to DECAL by 2.3 million and 10.5 million to fund Equalization

Positives from Budget:

Equalization fully funded added 32 million

LFMS receives a small boost by 122 million dollars. Keeps the 20% of QBE cost as required by law.

Sparsity grants fully funded added 1 million

T & E and Enrollment growth funded with an add of 142 million

State Charter School Supplement went up another 32 million

Charter Systems Grant up by 230 thousand

RESAs received an add of 221 thousand for enrollment growth


received 20 million in bonds for purchase of regular buses and 1.25 million for alternative fuel bus purchases.

AG Education received 1.11 million in bonds. for equipment

Career Technology received 7.83 million in bonds for equipment

This is a tough budget predicament to piece together but Senator and brand new Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Blake Tillery did an admirable job with the “off the cliff decline” in state revenue.  I just want to remind you that this approved Senate version must go to the Senate floor then to the House their swipe at it.  More than likely, it will head to a conference committee to hammer out differences.  So, we have a few more days of working through the political grinder before we see a final FY21 budget.

In both education committees bills were giving hearings:

House Ed chaired by Rep Rick Jasperse heard:

SB 416 Changing name of Office of College and Career Transitions. to Office of Career Academies (passed by com)

SB 431 On time graduation tracking (passed by committee)

SB 430 Home School and Private School students to access Career Academy courses -if space permits. (permitted not required)(passed)

SB 367 Student Assessment to reduce and adjust when tests should be given (hearing only-changes to come)

Senate Education and Youth chaired by Sen PK Martin:

HB 957 Allow participation by charter school employees in the state health plan

HB 1026 Reduce REACH Scholarship numbers

HB 755 Charter Schools: require local school boards to provide an itemized allotment sheets for the upcoming fiscal        year July 1 of each year. (hearing only)

Very busy day 32 and day 33 will prove to be similar.  You will hear from me tomorrow as the session moves to day 33 and 8 Legislative days remaining.


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