Bridging the philosophical divide on education spending
The House and the Senate have reached a compromise on House Bill 278, an omnibus education bill that includes education reforms and more funding for schools.
The Senate had rewritten HB 278 extensively. One of the main differences was how each body approached spending.
The Senate wanted to appropriate money outside the current base student allocation (BSA), part of a mix of formulas the state uses to decide how much to spend per student.
The House fought to put increases inside the BSA because of its stability and predictability. Once the BSA is raised, the money stays at that level. Appropriations outside the BSA could be subject to future cuts.
Senate majority leaders did not want to put money inside the current funding structure because they want to scrap it. They also believe the state’s funding mechanism leads to the status quo and will not promote innovation.
In the compromise brokered Wednesday, lawmakers agreed to spend $300 million over three years. Half of that money would go in the BSA and the rest would be appropriated outside of the fund.
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