Sunday, February 5, 2017

Budget Update from Money Committees

Today both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee met to approve their proposed amendments to the current biennial budget. 

The House Appropriations Committee is proposing to redirect the $55.5 million that the Governor proposed for a 1.5% bonus, along with an additional $6.1 million in new funding, to increase the Lottery Per Pupil Allocation.  These funds do not require a local match and do not have restrictions on their use.  The House Appropriations Committee also recommended adding $9 million in the second year of the biennium for the "Small School Support Fund" supplement.  This supplement would be for school divisions with fewer than 10,000 students that have seen a decline in enrollment of at least 10% over the last 10 years.  For more details, click here for the full presentation and here for Del. Massie's Report from the Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee's recommendations.  Click here and look at the items under February 5, 2017 for even more details on the House Appropriation Committee's budget proposal.

The Senate Finance Committee approached public education a different way in its budget proposal.  The Senate Finance Committee recommended funding the state share of a 2% salary increase for teachers.  This recommendation includes flexibility for school divisions to select the effective date of the raise at any point during the biennium.  This means that school divisions that gave a raise during the current fiscal year can count that raise towards the 2% salary increase in order to access the state share of the raise.  The Senate Finance Committee also proposed adding $6.9 million this fiscal year as transitional assistance for school divisions that experience a threshold level of 1.5% or greater loss of students compared to FY16.  For more details, click here for Senator Newman's subcommittee report.  Click here and look at the items under February 5, 2017 for even more details on the Senate Finance Committee's budget proposal.