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Senate Passes Amended School Finance Bill

"HB 21, the House’s school finance reform bill that was altered in the Senate Education Committee last Friday, was passed by the Senate with a vote of 25-6. As laid out in the Senate, the bill includes:

  • $150 million for ASATR hardship grants

  • $60 million for charter school facilities

  • $60 million to increase the EDA yield

  • $41 million for the small-school adjustment (six-year phase in)"

"Major amendments approved on the Senate floor:

  • clarify that charter school funding must be used for facilities purposes

  • clarify that only charters meeting certain academic standards or serving residential treatment centers would receive funding

  • add language from SB 19 relating to TRS-Care passed by the Senate and sent to the House (adding $212 million to HB 21)

  • establish two separate grant programs to fund innovative services for students with autism and dyslexia that are similar to programs outlined in HB 23, which was passed by the House and sent to the Senate (adding $20 million per program to HB 21), and state that the funding is outside the FSP (grant funding) and the programs are funded for two years

  • establish a commission to study school finance (using language from Taylor's SB 16)"

"The bill will now return to the House. A conference committee is expected to be appointed."

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