Tuesday’s Conference Committee Proceedings. The Education Funding and Policy Conference Committee did the annual ritual of comparing the provisions in House’s and Senate’s respective bills by going through what is called a side-by-side comparison with staff from each body describing the various provisions that comprise their body’s version of the omnibus education funding and policy bill. As has been stated a number of times, the House bill is much larger and far-reaching than the Senate bill. The Senate did add several provisions to the discussion today. They brought several bills that passed out of the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee and are currently on the Senate floor into consideration as part of the omnibus bill negotiations. The Senate’s approach this year was to pass narrow bills out of the committee on their own in hopes of having them pass the Senate and be taken up by the House. The House took the opposite approach of incorporating bills they heard into their version of the omnibus bill. I don’t see this as a wrinkle that will cause huge obstacles as the two sides work toward compromise. If anything, it is larger forces related to overall spending and tax policy that will have a larger effect on whether agreement on the final omnibus bill can be reached, then passed by both legislative bodies, and ultimately signed by the Governor.
The schedule for tomorrow will be a resumption of the testimony on student and staff mental health with concentration on House provsions that seek to ameliorate these issues.
Press Conference Wrap-up. Thanks to everyone who participated in Monday’s Day of Advocacy that highlighted the shortage of special education funding provided through the state’s special education funding formula that is causing districts throughout the state to use general fund resources to pay for federal- and state-required services.
I couldn’t find the KARE-11 news story on the press conference that kicked off the Day of Advocacy, but Carrie Loebertmann from Albertville forwarded me the link and here it is: KARE 11 Special Education Press Conference Story . Thanks Carrie!
Kim Lewis from MSBA staff has provided this link of the actual footage for the press conference: Press Confernence Stream. Again, thanks to all the press conference speakers, those who helped put the press conference together, and everyone who participated by contacting their legislators on this important issue.