House and Senate Negotiate School Funding

House and Senate conferees on the state budget have begun negotiating to harmonize their differing proposals. The Center for Public Policy Priorities delivered an open letter to the negotiators today on the status of key portions of the budget, including some telling points on funding for public education. They wrote: “We support the higher level of House funding for public education, although even with the House funding, on a statewide basis, real per-student spending will not increase in the next two years. At least $7 billion more (beyond what the House proposes) would be required in 2014-15 to return real per-student spending to 2008 levels. (Our analysis considers only the funding in SB 1 [the budget bill], and not SJR 1 [a proposed constitutional amendment tapping the Rainy Day Fund for $800 million for education and $4.9 billion for water and highway projects], which may increase spending, but not fully restore funding.)”

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