Sen. Tillman pointed out that there is only around 3% more cuts in the Senate plan than the Governor’s, evening out to only $200 less per a student, making it anything but “draconian”. John Hood looks more in depth at education spending in his daily journal found here.
The Senate plan funds need based UNC and community college scholarships from the lottery proceeds (unlike the House bill).
Student-teacher ratio in grades 1-3 will be lowered to 1:17 this coming year and the goal is to bring it down to 1:15 once the funds become available to do so.
The Senate plan rewards teachers based on merit. It also increases the number of instructional days on the calendar from 180 to 185.
Co-Chairman Apodaca pointed out that no other profession that he knew of required 30 hours a year of continuing education besides teachers, and that he was in favor of cutting it down to only 15 hours a year.
Co-Chairman Tillman ended the meeting saying that adding five days to the school calendar is significant and that never before has there been so much education reform with so little money.
Senate education budget cuts are as follows: 8% for K-12, 10.9% for community college and 12.4% for universities. The budget spends about $70 million more than the House plan and provides for around 1100 new teachers for grades 1-3.