Our collective budget planning for the upcoming school year really begins when the Governor releases the proposed budget in January of the current year. What a difference a few months can make as the current projection, known as the May Revision, casts a dark shadow on what we had hoped would be a year of continued stabilization.
The effect of the COVID pandemic runs deep among children, families and our community, and with a potential reduction of $12.3 billion, the effects truly take on a new reality. In the next few days there will be a great deal of information shared that breaks down the proposed 2020-21 education budget. I encourage all to be part of the process, stay informed, communicate, and involve key stakeholders in discussion around budget development.
The recovery of our education system will serve as the backbone to our economic recovery. Advocating for the needs of our rural communities and districts is a critical part of the road to our own local recovery. Our collective voice was heard when the state moved to equalize special education funding and a bright spot with the current proposal is that the Governor still recognizes the importance of maintaining planned base rates.
By working collaboratively, sharing strategies, and continuing to advocate for our needs we can impact future decisions on the budget. Please stay informed and involved; by working together and with our partners at the state level, I am hopeful we can influence the state for a budget that better reflects the importance of your work and education’s role in our economic recovery.
-Dr. Chris Hartley