Feb 26, 2007

House budget released; Lobby Day bears fruit

Yes, I'm going to give us credit for the successes in the fresh House budget:
K-12. The plan fully covers Initiative 728, with $238 million for class-size reduction and another $30 million to add 200 teachers in grades K-4. It includes $350 million for I-732, which mandates annual cost-of-living increases for teachers, and $50 million to ease pay disparity among districts. It includes bonuses of up to $10,000 for nationally certified teachers.

The proposal includes $60 million for additional special education spending, $5 million for technology, $25 million more for pupil transportation and $23 million to improve staffing of non-teaching school personnel.

All-day kindergarten is included, at a cost of $51 million, for children in high poverty areas.

Math and science programs would get $68 million, including money to hire 700 new teachers.

Dropout programs would get $8 million and a program for struggling 12th graders would get $12 million.
Gainsharing and the Rule of 85 are still wilcards, as those bills are stalled in committee and have until Thursday to make it out. Oh, and here's why we get credit:
Rep. Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, chairwoman of the newly created subcommittee, said the budget plans reflect the best thinking of people in the field.

"The folks in the classrooms and on the ground really helped us understand how we can drive resources to the programs to make the most difference for our teachers and students," she said in prepared comments.
I remember certain teachers speaking with Rep. Haigh about those same concerns.

No comments: