Jay Diskey, Executive Director of the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group, gave members a legislative update during the members-only webinar, 2015 State and Federal Outlook. The good news, Diskey said, is that Fiscal Year 2015 marks the fifth consecutive year for state education budget increases. Learning resource industry members, though, will also continue to feel the effects of the pushback on the Common Core, the call for expanding the use of classroom technology, and increasing concerns over student data privacy.
- Forty-three states enacted general fund spending increases in FY 2015, but growth is still below average.
- Enacted 2015 fiscal budgets show 39 states increased funding for K-12 education for a net increase of $11.1 billion going to elementary and secondary education.
- Florida’s budget recommendation is $19.75 billion in total funding for K-12 public schools, which is the highest funding level in state history, exceeding $18.9 billion in2014-2015.
- 4.3% or $9.6 million increase to the instructional materials fund.
- $40 million increase in new tech allotment (doubled to $80 million).
- In New York Governor Cuomo has recommended a $1.1 billion increase in school aid if the legislature adopts his reform package. If not, the increase will be $377 million.
- Several states have proposed bills that include provisions for digital learning. In Mississippi, for example, HB 813 creates the Digital Access and Learning and Virtual Instruction Program Act of 2015, which requires districts to purchase licensure agreements from publishers of electronic instructional materials, required them to provide each student with digital mobile device installed with the instructional materials adopted by the local district, and requires the department of education to annually publish a list of approved digital learning and virtual program providers.
The Policy & Research strand at the 2015 Content in Context conference (June 1-3 in Washington, DC) will feature updates on important legislative issues.
For information on upcoming webinars visit the PreK-12 Learning Group webpage.