The state senate approves spending more than three-billion dollars on public education in the new fiscal year. That’s always one of the biggest chunks of the budget, and it’s one of the top two priorities for the legislature each year. Senate Appropriations chairman Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says times are still tight and although the state is doing better, it is still struggling.
The senate has approved spending about three-billion dollars on the public school funding formula, with additional amounts for other faces of elementary and secondary education.
The House has to agree before the education spending plan can go to the governor,.
Schaefer also says the budget lawmakers will be working on next year will be even tighter because millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds will have run out. Estimates of shortfalls rance from $200-million to $750 million dollars. Several factors, including continued economic recovery, will affect how big that hole is.