Schools for Equity in Education

Stay informed on what is happening at the Capitol!

Through our weekly legislative updates and Brad’s Blog, you can track the progress of education issues. We also send out action alerts when necessary during the session along with information to guide your advocacy.


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Legislative Updates

2023 Omnibus Education Finance and Policy Bill’s highlighted by SEE staff.

And . . . we have a bill! It didn’t take that long once things started falling in place and the education finance and policy committee came to an agreement on Friday and finalized its proceedings on Saturday morning. The outline of the bill should be familiar as the contents in the Senate and House bills—and the Governor’s recommendations—have largely mirrored each other throughout the bill construction process. The major elements of the final agreement were central in the discussion by all participants from early-January although there was a difference in the degree of importance of some provisions accorded to these initiatives in the two omnibus bills and the Governor’s recommendations.

This week’s update will also contain a legislative alert that I hope will spur members into action as the Legislature enters its most crucial phase of the 2023 legislative session. The conference committee is now upon us, and the big decisions are right around the corner. With the overall budget targets agreed upon by the Governor and the two legislative bodies in advance of the construction of the budget bills in both houses, there are not massive differences between the two bills. There are differences in priorities with each House shuffling dollars around to different programs to a varying degree, but both the House and Senate put money on the basic formula, cut into the special education cross-subsidy, reduce the English learner cross-subsidy, create a new revenue stream for student support personnel, and money for Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. The House does create a program to pay for the additional time required to complete due process paperwork and an improvement to the transportation sparsity formula while the Senate has a newly proposed disparity aid program that provides revenue to districts with low levels of categorical revenue within the general education formula. But those proposals are clearly at the margins of these bills.

I don’t know what pop song will serve as the theme to the education conference committee this week, but at some point, I can imagine it’s going to be Kenny Loggins’ “This is It.” Legislative leadership had hoped that all of the conference committees could have wrapped up their work by the end of last week, but while some of them have completed their work, the larger conference committees—including the E-12 conference committee—have yet to put things to bed. I am sure leadership will be applying polite pressure to the conferees across-the-board to finish their work by the end of the week. The Legislature must adjourn on Monday, May 22, at the stroke of midnight (no more covering up the clock like they did in an earlier era) and there will be considerable debate on the major bills as they hit the floor.

With the House passing its version of the omnibus education funding and policy bill on Thursday, attention will now move to the Senate, which plans to pass both its omnibus education funding bill and omnibus education policy bill today, Monday, April 24. Unlike the House, the Senate brought its finance and policy bills to the floor separately. I was expecting the bills to be formally combined on the Senate floor and it will be interesting to see if that happens. It has been almost twenty years since the Legislature negotiated separate education finance and education policy bills and I don’t expect that to be the case this year, but it will be interesting to see when the Senate does fuse the policy bill provisions with the finance bill provisions so that there can be a seamless discussion of all of the measures contained in both the House and Senate bills when the conference committee convenes.

Education Bill Summary

An up-to-date look at education bills currently under consideration.

SEE Side-by-Side Comparison

See the education funding priorities of the Governor, House, and Senate.

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