Thursday, April 11, 2013

Last budget proposal . . .

With yesterday's release of the House budget we now have all three proposals for comparison purposes.  The House budget would increase total K-12 funding by $1.3 billion making it the most closely aligned with projections to meet the McCleary directive and on pace for full funding by 2017.  You can see Superintendent Dorn's very positive response to this budget in this statement.  In comparison the Senate budget would increase K-12 funding by $1 billion and the Governor by $1.2 billion.

Though there is some alignment in the three proposal, there are major differences that will make it difficult to reach agreement on a budget.  These differences create the foundation for bargaining that sometimes results in compromise leading to additional reform, more accountability, and less flexibility. This usually happens behind closed doors as the party and caucus leaders search for the keys to bringing the session to a close.  There are also major differences in how to pay for these proposals that you can read about here, here, and here.

The chart below gives a quick comparison of funding in key areas for us.  Before yesterday, I though that the Senate proposal would provide us with the fewest new dollars, but it may that the House budget with a larger increase may actually drive fewer dollars to us and is certainly less flexible because of less revenue for transportation and MSOC.

The chart below from WASA will give you a quick look at the budget proposals as they relate to the Joint Task Force recommendations.  The increased funding for transportation in all three budgets approaches the recommendation, but in all other areas there is a significant gap to close.

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