Governor Dave Heineman’s budget request includes additional state aid for K-12 schools.
In his State of the State address Tuesday, Heineman called for a 5 percent increase in state aid for each of the next two budget years. The Governor recommended that state aid to schools increase to $895 million in fiscal year 2013-14 and to $939 million in 2014-15.
Senator Heath Mello of Omaha, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, calls the plan a good starting point for discussion. “I think the Governor’s proposal to start the conversation about starting K-12 funding at a five percent increase is a good one, it’s a good number to start at and a good foundation for the Education Committee to start their own process as a committee in evaluating the various policies and decision points that are openly going in to producing a legislative bill for the entire Legislature to consider.”
Liz Standish, Controller for the Omaha Public Schools, says the Governor’s proposal under funds K-12 schools. “It under funds what’s required in current statute for the 13-14 year by $50 million. So if they were to fully fund what’s currently in state law, it would cost about $940 million.”
Heineman’s budget proposal also recommends 5 percent funding increases for special education in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years.
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