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March 17, 2011

Legislative Update Senate Subcommittee Votes to Move Forward with Inequitable “Hybrid” Funding Model Today, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Public Education Funding met to discuss the latest model for allocating approximately $4 billion in cuts to school districts and charter schools for the 2012-13 biennium. We alerted our members this morning about the hearing and sent a link to the runs. When the committee reconvened in the afternoon after session, they quickly voted to move forward with a proposal offered by Sen. Shapiro based on this new model (referred to as the updated “Hybrid Model”). The vote was five in favor (Shapiro, Duncan, West, Estes, Patrick) and two opposed (Seliger, Lucio – his vote was submitted later). We are currently developing talking points related to the model and its inequitable and shortsighted qualities, but here’s a short version of what the new Hybrid Model does: Cuts $2 billion in funding for districts for each year of the 2012-13 biennium. The cuts are as follows: 75% of the cuts come from lowering target revenue amounts (but none by more than 9%). 25% of the cuts come from lowering the formula amount for each district by lowering the regular Block Grant (Tier 1 discretionary funding) weight from 1 to .0985. This means that, as we’ve heard many times by now, all districts – even those at the lowest funding levels currently – will share in the pain. Stay tuned for our next alert, which will go into more detail and provide analysis and talking points about this disappointing plan. *Note: Also this afternoon, Senator Shapiro’s SB 22, relating to public school finance, was referred down to this same subcommittee. It was initially referred to the full Senate Finance committee, but will instead be heard first by her Senate Finance Subcommittee on Public Education Funding.

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