Legislative day 38, saw a lot of chatter about the voucher bill and how it would reappear in various scenarios. After running down many of the rumors, they seemed to die on the political vine.  With two days left, i never say never but the voucher bill remains in rules probably not to return this session.  We will remain on watch with a little more optimism.

The FY 20 Budget was completed and agreed upon by the conference committee and passed by both the Senate and House.  It moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Overall it is a good budget for K-12 education.  Anytime there is a significant certified employee raise added to the budget, it does cost the local systems in benefits, classified, and locally funded personnel.  I know that can be a financial hardship for many school systems and other adjustments in your budgeting process discussions and ultimately tough budget decisions will need to be made.

Some of the key changes to the budget:

$522 million to accomplish the $3000 raise for certified employees to begin July 1, 2019, This caused an increase of $86 million from the earlier versions.

$413,000 for RESAs to restore from the austerity overlooked by legislature.

$12.2 million for vocational equipment

$4.2 for dual enrollment

$1 million for additional high school counselors and enriching counselor programs for Title 1

$970,000 increase for sparsity grants

$750,000 for professional development for the newly introduced SB 108 computer science bill.

$200,000 to communities in schools to support the wraparound services model

GSSA extends appreciation to the Governor and both chambers and their leadership (Lt. Gov. & Speaker) for the very positive budget year for K-12 education.   We have not had many of these types of budget outcomes over the past several years.

Next Legislative day is Friday, March 29, 2019, #39.

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