In 2020, the legislature decided to raise the per-pupil funding rate for collaboratives from $2,150 to $2,500. Because of the pandemic sidelined many general bills, our legislative champions did this directly in the budget bill. We were thrilled with this progress, but a change in the budget bill only lasts for one year. This year, we are back to finish the job to make the rate increase permanent. The good news is that since the change was funded last year, our bill requires no new funding this year unless the legislature wants to expand the program.
We’ve got three pre-K bills that we’re tracking for this purpose: Senate Bills 2664 and 2665 and House Bill 1123.
SB 2664 is a shorter version of SB 2665. It contains only the amendments to the program requirements without the rate increase code section. SB 2665 and HB 1123 are identical to the bill that almost made it through the process last year. All three bills have passed their education committees, but SB 2665 and HB 1123 were both double-referred to an appropriations committee. They must pass their respective appropriations committees by Tuesday, February 2. SB 2664 has gone directly to the Senate calendar (Senate floor) because it only needed to pass Senate Education.
We will keep you updated as these bills continue to work their way through the process.