Friday, May 20, 2016

Senate budget amendments

The Senate budget amendments are now posted. The Senate (bless them!) sort their amendments by subject; you can find the education-related amendments here.
The K-12 related amendments (that are not for a particular district) are as follows:
  • amendment 121 would increase regional transportation reimbursement from $59M to $63M (which would be 80% reimbursement); amendment 174 would increase it to $61M (73% reimbursement)
  • amendment 127 would allow for districts to establish a special education reserve fund
  • amendment 189 would raise the amount budgeted on dual enrollment to $2M (from $1M) 
  • (not K-12, but) amendment 139 would double the early education salary reserve to $20M
  • amendment 140 would raise the non-resident student vocational transportation reimbursement from $1.75M to $3.28M
  • amendment 142 would provide "extraordinary relief" for districts "whose special education costs exceed 25 per cent of the total district costs and whose tuition and other circuit-breaker eligible costs...exceed both $1,000,000 and 25 per cent of all tuition and other circuit-breaker eligible costs"
  • amendment 146 would change how charter school reimbursement is allocated when not enough is allocated to fully fund, fully funding the capital component and pro-rating the rest.
  • amendment 148 would increase the line for regional bonus aid from $110,000 to $278,000
  • and there it is! amendment 149 would increase the kindergarten grant back up to $18.5M (level funded from last year and what passed the House); amendment 202 would also do providing further than grants per classroom don't annualize to more than $18,000/; amendment 256 would increase to $23.9M
  • amendment 158 would add $100,000 for civic education and engagement
  • amendment 162 (without an amount added) would implement an early elementary literacy improvement grant
  • amendment 167 would increase school-to-career connecting activities from $2.8M to $5.4M
  • amendment 168 would establish a commission to study best practices and costs of serving low incident special education population
  • amendment 170 would establish an ELL circuit breaker account for districts that experience at 20% increase (or more) over the previous year
  • amendment 175 would put the Foundation Budget Review Commission on a three year cycle with the next report due November 1, 2018; amendment 260 would establish a foundation budget review commission to report out every 4 years (and, coming in from Senator Tarr, this one has broader parameters, including early childhood ed, and funding for teachers salaries at rates to attract and retain quality candidates)
  • amendment 177 would establish a $500,000 STEM school to career grant for vocational schools
  • amendment 178 establishes further parameters for special education costs within the circuit breaker (it widens who is allowed to apply)
  • amendment 189 adds $500,000 for a safe and supportive schools grant
  • amendment 190 increases McKinney-Vento transportation reimbursement from $8.3 (level funded) to $24.3M; amendment 254 would increase it to $20.8M
  • amendment 193 the "Princeton Pothole Amendment" would allow for reimbursement for a community (Princeton is offered as an example) that "has made significant over payment of minimum local contribution and experienced extreme hardship due to said over payment over three or more consecutive years within the last 10 years.”
  • amendment 196 would eliminate the requirement of the use of District Determined Measures in evaluations 
  • amendment 199 would study the delivery of special education services
  • amendment 202 would expand the John Adams tuition program to non-public school students who voluntarily take the MCAS
  • amendment 217 (from Senator Joyce) would make Randolph a Commissioner's district (?)
  • amendment 218 would add a bunch more districts to those eligible for pothole funding
  • amendment 226 would add $1M to the Parent Child program, bringing it to $14M
  • amendment 228 would ensure fully McKinney-Vento reimbursement for districts that spend over $800,000 on it
  • amendment 229, Senator Tarr wants to set aside $850,000 for charter schools' negatively impacted by the new economically disadvantaged calculation 
  • amendment 231 would raise charter reimbursement to $90M; amendment 255 would increase it to $133M; amendment 258 would increase it to $100.9M
  • amendment 232 would require two hours of suicide awareness training for all school personnel
  • amendment 235 would provide for a process for getting waivers for unfunded mandates
  • amendment 238 provides $150,000 for the Berkshire County Regional Task Force 
  • proving that they are certainly well connected, amendment 241 would put the JFY Networks $700,000 of funding in (see my notes on the House budget)
  • amendment 244 increases the funding for the inclusive concurrent enrollment to $2M and requires a report on it from DESE
  • amendment 246 would create regional schools foundation budget review commission 
  • amendment 248 would increase METCO funding to $23M from just over $20M
  • amendment 251 from Senator Tarr would move the consolidated net surplus (in thirds) to the Community Preservation Trust fund, the Life Sciences Investment fund, and the implementation of the foundation budget review commission; amendment 257 and amendment 259 also from Senator would also establish alternative ways for funding the foundation budget review commission findings  (it's not clear to me that any of these have enough funding to do any such thing)
  • amendment 252 requires a report on the educational stability of foster children
  • amendment 262 increases the innovation schools line to $1M but adds a number of new parameters 
The Senate begins deliberations Monday. 

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