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A Blog from New America's Federal Education Budget Project

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Friday News Roundup: Week of January 21-25

Published:  January 25, 2013

Cal State system has $250 million funding gap

Bill giving Colorado illegal immigrants in-state tuition passes test

Michigan school funding proposal would seek more financial equality among districts

Federal funding cuts threaten Nevada Department of Education

 

Cal State system has $250 million funding gap

California State University officials indicated that they are $250 million short on their 2014 budget after Governor Jerry Brown only allocated $125 million in state funds. Even that allocation comes with strings attached -- $10 million must go to expanding online education. Capital spending for the university is also an area of contention -- Brown has allotted $3.6 million for four capital projects, while the university has requested $519.6 million for 38 projects at various campuses throughout the state. The governor has indicated that the university system will need to radically change their operating structure to prevent students from paying more: “Business as usual will require tuition increases.” More here…

Bill giving Colorado illegal immigrants in-state tuition passes test

In Colorado, Senate Bill 33 – a bill allowing high school graduates who have attended a Colorado school for at least three years, regardless of immigration status, to receive the in-state tuition rate – has passed the Senate Education Committee with a 6-3 vote. Legislative analysts have estimated that of the approximately 1,500 Colorado high school graduates without legal immigration status, around one third of those will attend college in the first year the law takes effect; in subsequent years this is projected to increase to around 750 students per year. Those numbers would mean an extra $2 million in tuition dollars in the first year, increasing to $3 million in the following years. Due to the additional provision providing funding for the College Opportunity Fund for immigrant students, however, state spending would increase by $930,000 to subsidize students in the first year and $1.4 million in the following years. The bill must pass through the Senate Appropriations Committee before it comes to a full vote. More here…

Michigan school funding proposal would seek more financial equality among districts

Michigan Senator Rick Jones has introduced a joint resolution to require that all Michigan schools have equal per pupil funding. The proposal would phase in this requirement over the course of the next 10 years. Noting that some districts receive $7,000 per student, while others see more than $10,000 per student, Senator Jones hopes to close this gap. His proposed resolution would be difficult to pass, as it requires a change in the state constitution. The joint resolution would need to pass with a two-thirds majority in both the state Senate and House – then, it would still need to be approved by voters statewide. His other education initiatives include a requirement for all school aid money to be utilized for K-12 funding, as well as providing schools with additional transportation funding based on the distance of students’ commutes. More here…

Federal funding cuts threaten Nevada Department of Education

The Nevada Department of Education could be drastically reduced in size should sequestration, the automatic cuts to federal spending, come into effect this spring. The loss of $25 to $27 million in federal funds would directly affect department employees – at least 90 of the 140 employees are partially funded by these federal dollars. Superintendent of Public Instruction James Guthrie spoke to the budget committee this week in a pre-session, indicating that between 10 to 12 employees would be laid off if Congress allows the automatic cuts to happen. While Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has added $135 million in additional state funding for public schools, Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Debbie Smith indicated in the meeting that it does not begin to compensate for the last five years of spending cuts that started because of the recession.  More here…

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