School Funding: A Tale of Two Bills

Mar 14, 2019 by

UPDATE: By a vote of 32-8, SB 142 passed the Senate this evening. We’ll have a more detailed update in tomorrow’s Under the Dome. Vote by Senator:

Voting for: Baumgardner, Billinger, Bollier, Bowers, Braun, Denning, Doll, Estes, Faust-Goudeau, Francisco, Givens, Goddard, Haley, Hardy, Hawk, Hensley, Hilderbrand, Holland, Longbine, Lynn, McGinn, Miller, Olson, Petersen, Pettey, Rucker, Skubal, Sykes, Taylor, Ware, Wilborn.

Voting against: Alley, Kerschen, Masterson, Pilcher-Cook, Pyle, Suellentrop, Tyson, Wagle.

KNEA SUPPORTS:

The Senate will debate and vote on SB 142 today. This is the bill that needs to pass in order to move forward towards a resolution with the Court.

SB 142 provides a $90 million inflation adjustment to school funding in response to the Gannon decision. It would enact the recommendation of the State Board of Education and is the same proposal as was in Governor Kelly’s school funding bill earlier this year. 

The Senate debate will begin at 2:30 this afternoon. Use your lunch break (or other duty-free time) to email or call your Senator and ask him/her to vote YES on SB 142.

CLICK HERE to enter your zip code and find your Senator’s contact information.

UPDATE: The K-12 Budget Committee convened another hearing today to discuss HB 2395. KNEA offered opposition testimony. The committee adjourned with plans to reconvene at a later time.

KNEA OPPOSES:

The House K-12 Budget Committee will begin a hearing at 3:30 this afternoon on HB 2395, an alternative school finance bill.

HB 2395 is the wrong answer to the Gannon decision and includes many bad policy ideas that will harm students and schools.

This bill has $42 million in new base aid funding – far less than inflation, as called for in the Supreme Court decision. Among its many policy changes, it enacts a voucher program, repeals the requirement that the state reimburse districts for 92% of the excess costs of special education, cuts funding for bilingual students if they are not fluent in English in four years, puts restrictions on at-risk spending.

This hearing will continue on Monday and Committee Chair Kristey Williams has announced her intention to vote on the bill next week.

Contact members of the committee and ask them to reject HB 2395 and instead adopt the Senate’s plan in SB 142.

Members of the committee are Republicans Kristey Williams, Kyle Hoffman, Brenda Dietrich, Renee Erickson, Steve Huebert, Brenda Landwehr, Adam Smith, Sean Tarwater, and Adam Thomas and Democrats Valdenia Winn, Cindy Holscher, Nancy Lusk, and Jim Ward.

CLICK HERE to contact these representatives.

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