That's my reaction to Steve Kelley's whine
about the new funding for education in the budget agreement.
"Based on what we were hearing from school districts, the 4 percent and 4 percent [raises] might have a number of districts still cutting teachers and programs because of their efforts to catch up on the last three years of flat funding," said Sen. Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins, and a member of the House-Senate working group.
Let's understand what's in this bill besides the 4/4 raise in base funding (details provided by email from Eliizabeth Mische of Parents for Choice
- QComp is in the bill, with more money than originally planned if I read this correctly; QComp would allow the state to begin implementation of merit pay. The devil's in the details, and unfortunately I don't have time to read them all right now. Maybe some other bloggers will.
- Get Ready, Get Credit made it in, which will extend the benefits of Minnesota's post-secondary education option.
- School districts can go to their voters for more levy money than before. (Hey David, I expect my watchdog to keep an eye on this!)
- Some additional district equity money.
- Another $90 million of sugar for a variety of projects.
So what the hell is Kelley yapping about? But it appears he's getting his way on the expansion of education vouchers, which I don't see in any bill at present. Mische says it has some chance still.