Thursday, March 02, 2006

Senate school finance plan larger than House plan, but extra money comes from local taxes

Senate unveils $660 million school finance plan:
The Senate plan puts $180 million in school funding in the first year, plus $70 million more in changes to a law allowing districts to raise additional local property taxes, for a total increase of more than $250 million.

Senators also create a new provision for districts with high concentrations of students in poverty, giving five districts an additional $10 million for programs designed to help these students succeed in school. House members have a similar proposal, helping six districts.
The House plan raises spending by $500 million over the the same three years, but without the larger local option financing. The Governor was reportedly heavily involved in the process that produced both plans.

I seem to recall that local option financing was an issue in the case that lead to the current scramble for funding. The issue was whether the local option funding was used for "extra" expenses or was part of the general education budget. One hopes the Senate's bill avoids those issues.