Lawmakers Look to Increase the Basic Funding Formula for Schools
Statewide education funding could increase
In the Capitol Monday, there was both talk and action regarding money for K-12 schools.
Republican Speaker of the House Mike Chenault reacted to complaints from Democrats about needs in education and outlined a series of special appropriations the legislature had made in recent years: to increase funding for special education students; to recognize cost differences among districts; and to cover higher fuel costs.
In the same senate, which has a bipartisan majority, lawmakers say it is time to increase the basic funding formula.
The Education Committee passed a three-year, phased-in bump, in the amount districts get for each pupil.
“I think this is the wisest approach we can make,” said Senate President Gary Stevens. “Maybe not the best, but I do appreciate the fact that we have a bill here and that we have a lot of work ahead of us to try to make sure that it gets through the entire process."
“You go back and look at what we've done – especially in the last five years – the legislature's commitment to public education has got a pretty good record compared to some other states,” said House Speaker Mike Chenault.
The bill passed by the committee Monday, would increase statewide education funding by $125 per student or $30 million overall.