Members of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) have set the FY 2012 K-12 budget that is $12 million less than the governor recommended in his budget address in early January. Though the cut is far less than what most lawmakers anticipated in the early months of the session, schools will be short roughly a $47 million, after removing funding for increased student enrollment and the $35 million in one-time federal and state endowment funds that helped buttress the schools budget this year.
If approved, the JFAC budget would reduce the money the state sends to school districts to pay for administrator, teacher, and ESP salaries by 1.87%. Additionally, discretionary funding would be decreased by 10% from $21,795 in the current school year to $19,626 for next year.
The nearly $15 million reduction in salary funding, along with the redirection of funding for other budget line items would be used to pay for the ideas outlined in Superintendent Luna’s education overhaul package, including: dual credit for high school students, increased math and science courses for high school students, a requirement that every graduating senior take either the ACT or SAT college entrance exam, “mobile computing devices” for high school teachers and professional development to assure they can appropriately and adequately use the technology.