Joint Ways and Means Education Subcommittee Co-Chair Sen. Lew Frederick is also a member of the Joint Committee on Student Success. The committees’ bills would work in concert. (Photo by Jake Arnold, OSBA)
The Legislature is proposing a $9 billion State School Fund for 2019-21, with a little help from the Student Success Act.
The Education Subcommittee for the Joint Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing Tuesday morning on House Bill 5016, the State School Fund bill. The fund would include $623 million from the Student Success Act, which cleared its committee Monday night.
The Student Success Act money would replace $423 million of General Fund money lost to an income tax break in the bill and add $200 million for schools.
The Legislative Fiscal Office estimated the current service level need at $8.77 billion, but education advocates said that number was based on an artificially low starting calculation point and didn’t include actual cost increase data.
OSBA Executive Director Jim Green said $9 billion was a good number for most schools.
“The Legislature is living up to its promise to fund schools adequately and make a significant education investment through the Student Success Act,” Green said. “Both bills are necessary for the sake of our students.”
The bill is scheduled for a likely vote Wednesday before moving to the full Ways and Means Committee. The bill’s numbers could change slightly with the session’s last state revenue report May 15.