We have received the end-of-session report from our government relations consultants, Christine Hess and Reggie Joule. The report provides a detailed look at revenue, funding, and specific education legislation we were following or actively working on for passage. We are proud to have worked with many other education organizations and activists to secure advance and increased funding for education and also worked to move passage of HB 213 (Public Schools Trust Fund, combined with SB 78, Education Lottery Fund), which will provide future revenue resources for education.
I am particularly proud of our years of committed work to sustain funding and expand pre-elementary programs statewide. We have been successful over the past few years in sustaining existing pre-elementary grant funding ($2 million), and extending these grant programs to school districts previously covered by Moore settlement grants ($1.2 million). We’ve been working with DEED to plan for sustainable expansion of high quality pre-elementary across the state, and have used our advocacy role to educate legislators about the importance of high-quality pre-K in closing achievement gaps and the need for increased access to these programs. We are extremely gratified that this year’s legislature preserved current funding levels for pre-elementary programs, and also included $6 million additional funds for pre-k over the next two years!
I’m also very proud of our continued and successful advocacy for school construction and major maintenance. We succeeded in getting passage of our two bills (HB 212 and SB 135) and school major maintenance was funded in the capital budget at $24 million. Please see attached document for the full report.
Thank you to Chris and Reggie for their excellent work, and to all of you who have advocated on behalf of our children, educators, and schools. We’ll be back at it soon enough. Wishing you all a wonderful summer!
- Sarah Sledge, Executive Director