Florida Superintendents Call for Special Legislative Session on School Funding: Following the end of the regular legislative session on Sunday, Florida school superintendents called for lawmakers to return for a special session to reassess funding for the K-12 system in the state budget bill delivered to Governor Rick Scott (R) on Wednesday. While the budget includes a total increase in per-pupil spending, superintendents are concerned that most of the increased funding can only be used for school security purposes, leaving little for core operating budgets. Governor Scott’s office declined the request for a special session, emphasizing the importance of funding for school safety.
New York Requires School-Level Financial Transparency: In response to the Every Student Succeeds Act’s financial transparency provisions, New York state officials will require all districts in the state to publicly report school spending by December 2019. Currently, financial reports include the amount of funding that the state provides to districts, but districts will soon be required to also report how they allocate funds amongst their schools. The state plans to package the financial information in a format that allows policymakers and community members to easily compare and contrast budgets and resources across schools.
Washington Legislature Sends Budget Bill Sent to Governor, Court Calls for Teacher Pay Raises:Washington state legislators sent Governor Jay Inslee (D) an appropriations bill that would add $750 million to K-12 public schools for the 2018-2019 school year. In response to the proposed budget, the Washington Supreme Court has threatened to take action if the state fails to raise teacher salaries. While the state previously raised taxes in an effort to increase the average teacher pay ($60,000) by Fall 2019, the court plans to shut down schools or increase other sanctions if salaries aren’t increased by Fall 2018. Governor Inslee has until March 31 to act on legislation or it becomes law without signature.