After more than eight hours of debate that began Wednesday evening and ended early Thursday morning around 2:30, the Senate has given preliminary approval to SS SB 291 – an omnibus education bill. The lengthy debate featured 37 amendments.
The legislation, which started out as an effort to take virtual schools into account in the calculation and distribution of funding, was expanded. It now includes overall education funding by making changes to the funding formula – It removes from the calculation of the state adequacy target the inclusion of the gaming revenues from the repeal of loss limits. It also includes a modification of the School Building Revolving Fund to allow for grants to be used for specific projects, and allows for the setting up of what will be called the P-20 Council to create a more efficient and effective education system to more adequately prepare students for entering the workforce.
One more positive vote in the Senate sends the bill to the House.