As part of an overall plan to address rising inflation and barriers to employment, the Governor is proposing $611 million to K-12 education following new projections indicating the state will have a $3.8 billion surplus at the end of the 2021-23 biennium—nearly $2.9 billion more than was expected in June 2021. The proposal now heads to the legislature for their consideration.
The $611 million for K-12 education would be invested as follows:
- $188 million in general equalization aid to provide continued property tax relief and offset inflationary cost increases, including:
- $162.4 million in additional revenue limit authority to provide a per pupil revenue limit increase of $200 for the 2022-23 school year is offset by the general equalization aid increase.
- $15.5 million to account for the choice levy increase is offset by the general equalization aid increase.
- $172.6 million to increase the state’s special education aid reimbursement rate in FY23 from an estimated 30 percent to 40 percent.
- $103.7 million for increasing per-pupil aid by $128 per student.
- $20 million for out-of-school time grants to support high-quality after-school programs and other out-of-school time programs.
- $20 million for lead testing and remediation on school grounds and $250,000 to purchase water bottle filling stations that provide filtered drinking water.
- $20 million for a new reading professional aid program to help schools employ, hire, or retain reading teachers and reading specialists.
- $18.3 million for a revamped bilingual-bicultural aid program, which will expand eligibility and support more districts and $750,000 to help teachers become licensed/certified as bilingual teachers and teachers of English as a second language.
- $18 million toward additional investments and expanded eligibility in the school mental health aid program.
- $5.7 million to increase high-cost special education aid reimbursement from 40 percent to 60 percent in FY23.
- $9.9 million toward an Urban Excellence Initiative that will expand summer school grants, enhance early childhood education opportunities, support community engagement to improve academic achievement, and support principals in the state’s five largest school districts.
- $3 million for a driver education aid program for low-income students.
- $2.6 million to fully fund reimbursements under the school breakfast program.
- $2.4 million to alleviate the difference in federal reimbursement for federal payments for reduced-price and free meals.
- $750,000 to help teachers become licensed to teach computer science.
- $23.4 million to provide an additional $642 per pupil increase for all private and independent charter school programs.