The House Ways and Means budget calls for, as expected, cuts to ch. 70 of 4%, unless that would drive the district below foundation, as it would in Worcester.
The HW&M budget uses federal stimulus funds to reach the foundation budget level, which the Governor's budget did not. Worcester would receive $3.7 million of federal stimulus funds from the state under this plan.
Grants for programs like kindergarten, adult basic education, and funding for special education reimbursement all look as though they will be level funded.
Cuts are proposed to literacy grants and extended learning time grants. How that ends up playing out is not yet known ('though, and this is my interpolation, if it concerns you, contact your House member! ).
It looks as though the House will debate the budget starting the week of April 26.
The superintendent has revised her original WPS proposal: she is no longer planning on cutting the stipend for teaching assistant principals at the smaller, non-STEP schools. She plans to cut an additional (as yet unspecified) central office administrator in order to fund this.
She has recommended the following priorities, should there be additional funds available (and this is quoted):
- low elementary class sizes
- school safety
- early literacy
- comprehensive curriculum programming
- College preparation, AP classes, increased rigor and relevance of courses