FOR RELEASE: January 18, 2017
CONTACT: David Albert
The proposed $1 billion education aid increase represents a good starting point for budget negotiations.
We support the governor’s proposals to update the foundation aid formula to better reflect student poverty and to consolidate prekindergarten funding streams.
However, we see opportunities to build upon this year’s budget.
By our calculations, the actual amount of unrestricted school aid available to districts in the proposed budget is closer to $761 million.
The budget includes an undefined $150 million “stabilization fund” along with several funding categories earmarked for specific purposes such as pre-K and after school programs.
We support these initiatives, but believe the funding allocated for them should instead be used to increase foundation aid. That would give school districts the flexibility to direct funds toward educational programs and services that would most benefit their students.
Finally, we strongly oppose the governor’s proposal to repeal the foundation aid formula.
The foundation aid formula was put in place to make state education funding more understandable, and to provide school districts with a predictable funding stream. Repealing the formula would eliminate both of these objectives.