It’s the Senate’s Turn
More (and More) Numbers.
The Senate released their version of the omnibus education finance and policy bill today and while it spends the same amount of money, it does it in just about half of the pages as the 314-page version being considered by the House. There are a number of significant differences in the bills and the biggest difference starts right at the top. The House adhered to the Governor’s recommendation on the general education basic formula increase of 4% for 2023-24 and 2% for 2024-25 with future increases tied to inflation. The Senate bill recommends a 4% increase for 2023-24 and a 5% (that’s not a misprint-5%) increase for 2024-25 with no future increases beyond this biennium built into the budget tails. By not tying the formula to increases in inflation, the 5% increase only costs slightly more in the next biennium than it would if inflation were the determinant for the basic formula in the next biennium. The advantage, of course, is that there would be considerably more revenue in this biennium to meet school district needs. Much of the Senate bill mirrors that of the Governor, but has fewer programs than both the Governor and the House and smaller appropriations for many programs that are contained in the House bill.
Here is a summary:
- Basic formula (as outlined above): For 2023-24: $7,138/PU (4% increase). For 2024-25: $7,495/PU (5% increase).
- EL Formula increase and phaseed-in EL cross-subsidy aid to eliminate 75% of a district’s EL cross-subsidy.
- Maintenance of current Voluntary pre-K slots with no expansion as recommended by the Governor and contained in the House bill.
- Read Act: $41 million. $32.5 million for professional development and $8.4 million for Center for Applied Research and Innovation at the University of Minnesota. No money for curriculum acquisition; House has $40 million.
- MTSS: $10.1 million for this biennium ($5.1 million per year); $15 million per year in the next biennium. Below the House bill this biennium and above House bill next biennium.
- Paid Training for Paraprofessionals: $14 million for 2024-25 school year; $16 million per year in the base for next biennium. Bigger investment than House bill.
- $24.5 million in each of the next four years for Grow Your Own teacher program.
- Student Support Personnel: $23.4 million for 2023-24 school year; $26.0 million for 2024-25 school year; $48.3 million for 2025-26 school year and $50.9 million for 2026-27 school year. More than Governor’s recommendation but less than the House bill.
- There are a number of other grant programs, particularly ones that aim to reduce the achievement gap and increase teachers of color in Minnesota.
Here is a link to the bill: SF 2684
I reported yesterday that the House’s cross-subsidy aid was less than the Governor’s, but that was incorrect. They appear to be identical, as is the Senate’s approach. If it holds, the cross-subsidy will be reduced by approximately 48%.
Here are the spreadsheets for the House and Senate bills:
House: HF 2497 Aid Spreadsheet
Senate: SF 2684 Aid Spreadsheet
Senate: SF 2684 Aid Change Items
These spreadsheets can be difficult to read, so get out your magnifying glass.