UPDATE APRIL 3 – 8:00 p.m. – The House concurred and this budget now goes to the Governor. No pay raise was included in the legislature’s approved ETF budget. Here is the PDF from the Legislative Fiscal Office.
ORIGINAL POST BELOW:
Man, it is tough to get the details about the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget unless you have the Secret Decoder Ring. Fortunately, I finally calibrated my Ring juuuust right and was able to pick up on some of the details of the version approved by the Alabama Senate on Tuesday, April 1.
Yes, the language concerning Common Core State Standards is still in the budget. Here’s the specific language:
The funds appropriated above shall not be used to implement standards, programs or student assessments created by the Common Core State Standards Initiative after April 1, 2013. (Lines 36 through 42, page 30.)
The incorporation of Common Core State Standards into the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards happened prior to April 1, 2013, and no additional standards are expected to be developed through the CCSSI, so it is unclear why this language is included or what it means. (Waiting on updates for my Secret Decoder Ring.)
The divisors (the numbers used to determine how many teacher units are funded by the state for local school systems) look like this:
Grades 4-6: 21.85
Grades 7-8: 20.20 (it was 20.45 for this year; the ALSDE had requested 19)
Grades 9-12: 18.45
Teacher’s health insurance (PEEHIP) is funded at $780 per full-time teacher.
Textbook or digital resources funding stands at $35 per pupil (calculated as average daily membership during the first 20 scholastic days after Labor Day of the preceding school year). Up by $3.65 per pupil from this year. But not the $56 per pupil requested by the ALSDE.
Classroom materials and supplies will be funded at $310 per unit. Up $10 per unit from last year. The ALSDE requested $300 per unit.
The teacher/student assessment line item from the FY14 budget has been changed to only include funding for student assessments. (Secret Decoder Ring still cloudy on this one.)
Preliminary calculations show that Other Current Expense (OCE) funding could be $15,967 per unit, up from $15,661 per unit. Far from the $16,442 per unit the ALSDE had requested. These funds are really the only state funding where school districts have any flexibility.
It appears there may be about $10.8 million in additional transportation operations funding, though that, too, is a preliminary calculation, and only half of the increase the ALSDE had sought. It looks like Fleet Renewal funds will remain at $6,000 per bus (only provided to districts for each bus that is less than 10 years old).
Here’s a view of the spreadsheet, updated to include these numbers. Here’s a link to download the spreadsheet. Remember, this is NOT the final budget. It still needs approval from the full House and it must be signed by the Governor before it becomes official.
Here is the path of the ETF budget so far:
Senate committee approved – February 26
Senate approved – February 27
House committee approved – March 13
House approved – March 18
Conference Committee appointed – March 19
Senate concurred with Conference Committee – April 1
Next up, the full House considers the budget. Not clear when that will happen, but with one day left in the Legislative Session after today, it’ll have to happen soon.