June 14, 2011
Legislative Alert Crucial Improvements to SB 1 The following elements were added to SB 1 in a House amendment by Rep. Diane Patrick. These changes are crucial to improving the bill and ensuring the state's future commitment to public education. If these elements do not remain in the conference committee report to SB 1, we strongly recommend that members vote against CCR SB 1. Here are the key parts of the Patrick amendment: 1. Elimination of the Regular Program Adjustment Factor (RPAF) after FY 13, requiring that future cuts to education, should there be any, be made in a transparent, statutory manner with public input and hearings. In terms of representative government, the establishment of the RPAF would be a huge mistake and terrible public policy. 2. Restoration of the proration language back to current law so that if the state's share for public education falls below the $4 billion in statutory cuts, the state will repay prorated losses to school districts. The same practice would continue in subsequent years.
Key Amendment to SB 2 The Equity Center also fully supports Rep. Donna Howard's amendment to SB 2 that could potentially offset some of the public education losses by appropriating Rainy Day Funds that are collected in excess of $9.6 billion to school districts. Although this wouldn't make districts whole, it would go a long way in sending the message that the legislature in fact does prioritize public education.
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