Home arrow COSA Blogs arrow Legislative leaders commit $6.0 billion for schools
Legislative leaders commit $6.0 billion for schools Print E-mail

kent-hunsaker.jpgby Kent Hunsaker, Executive Director

As you know, since the January election, COSA and our education partners have been working to convince legislators to appropriate $6.0 billion in the current supplemental session, instead of waiting for the May revenue forecast and possible trigger.

We did this for a number of reasons, but mainly to enable districts to have greater confidence as they begin their 2010-11 budget planning processes.

Legislative leadership today told us that the legislature will, on Monday, allocate the $200 million needed to bring K-12 funding to $6.0 billion, as promised, for the 2009-11 biennium.

This is good news for school districts, and we appreciate the legislature’s commitment to schools and students in this difficult economic time.  But the news isn’t as good for ESDs, because legislative leadership has decided that ESDs won’t receive their typical 4.75% share ($9.5 million) of the $200 million.

We told legislative leaders that we were concerned about the potential impacts on ESD services that support schools and students.  Legislative leaders said, however, that it was a “done deal” and pointed out that school districts can choose to purchase ESD services with the money they receive.  They also told us that in order to get the required three-fifths majority needed to allocate the $200 million, this ESD-related action was necessary.

The reason the three-fifths majority is needed is that the legislature is tapping the 2010-11 Education Stability Fund, as well as the Rainy Day Fund and the Education Stability Fund in 2009-10, to achieve the $200 million.  Using monies from those funds requires the three-fifths vote.

This change means that school districts will receive about $14 more per ADMw in 2010-11 than previously estimated at the $6 billion level.  At the same time, this means that most ESDs will receive slightly less per student in 2010-11 than they did in 2009-10.  ESDs with a $1 million floor are not affected.  (A document with details of the impact on each ESD is available here.)
The above numbers are initial estimates.  We will be working with ODE to get exact dollar allocations for 2010-11 for school districts and ESDs as soon as the legislation is passed.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 .