The State Board of Education on Thursday voted unanimously to send a budget request to lawmakers that calls for $158-million in additional funding over last year. For the first time ever, the details of that budget request are available online both as a breakdown of the major categories for this year and a spreadsheet showing the numbers for FY2011 and FY2012 as well.
Nearly half of the increase – $78-million – would go into the funding formula that passes through to districts. Barresi says that restores funding to FY2011 levels, reversing cuts enacted last year. The next-largest increase goes to the Flexible Benefit Allowance – health insurance – for certified and support staff totaling $45-million. Barresi says there is also money to restore programs that had to be cut this year like the stipend for National Board Certified Teachers ($11.3-million) and training for Advanced Placement teachers ($4-million, double the current year expenditure).
This is the smallest increase requested by the Department of Education in recent years. It’s not clear whether it has a greater chance of being a part of the budget Governor Fallin and lawmakers agree to next year. While state revenues are up over last year, lawmakers are talking about a stand-still budget for FY2013 as revenue increases replace one-time funds that were put into the current budget to avoid more cuts. The budget picture will become more clear next week when the State Board of Equalization meets to give a preliminary revenue certification. That will be the figure Governor Fallin uses for the budget she presents to lawmakers on the first day of the legislative session in February. A final certification is made later in February which lawmakers use to craft the actual budget.
Click on the video below to see more from Barresi on the budget.