Six separate bills that will direct funding for public schools next year were printed on Wednesday morning and the House of Representatives approved the measures late Wednesday afternoon. The bill are now headed to the full Senate for their approval. These funding bills are the final piece of business the IEA is following this session. Once the legislature dispenses with these bills and a few other smaller appropriations, the legislature will be able to adjourn sine die.
All indications continue to point to a Friday, March 21 adjournment.
This year, K-12 funding is broken down into six separate bills. These separate bills, all combined, make up the $1.6 billion public school budget for FY 15.
HB 637 provides $79.7 million to fund the “Division of Administrators.” Included in this measure is a 1% increase on the base salary allocation for administrative positions and funding to provide for school district strategic planning. This piece of legislation represents a 2% increase for next year.
HB 638 will provide $770 million to the “Division of Teachers.” Aside from a 1% increase to base salary allocation, this piece of legislation also provides $15.8 million for leadership awards and $8.25 million for professional development. This legislation represents a 1.5% increase in funding for next year.
HB 639 provides $534.9 million to the “Division of Educational Support” program, a 7.1% increase over last year’s budget. The FY 15 budget includes a 1% increase to the non-certificated employee base salary allocation, includes an increase of $35 million to begin restoring discretionary funding to districts, $8 million in ongoing funding for classroom technology funding and $3 million in one-time funding for the second year of the technology pilot projects that were introduced last legislative session.
HB 640 represents the “Children’s Program Division” of the FY 15 public school budget. The allocation levels in this budget remain essentially unchanged from FY 14.
HB 641 is the “Facilities Division” of the public schools budget, which addresses bond levy equalization and the use of lottery funds.
HB 643, the “Central Services Division” of the public schools budget provides $16.8 million. This is the newest section of the public schools budget. It includes primarily those moneys that are expended at the state level for the benefit of all school districts. This budget includes funding for WiFi services, funding for School Net, and funding for technology education opportunities for high school students and faculty to prepare students to be career and college-ready.