House appropriations committee members got an earful during the nearly 3 hour hearing on the House and Senate McCleary solutions. Make no mistake, it is very difficult to compare and contrast the two competing proposals. The best part of this early release of the opposing solutions, is that we, and legislators, will have plenty of time to discuss and debate the differences over the next 75 days.
Positive classified employee features of the House proposal are:
….increased allocation for salaries from $33,898 to $54,084 in equal increases (19.8% increase each year) over the 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 school years. Starting again in 2020-21, the COLA is reinstated.
….professional development days: one day in 2017-18, two days in 2018-19, four days in 2019-20, six days in 2020-21, and ten days in 2022-23.
Concerns with House proposal:
….no change to the classified employee staffing formula. As a result, school district local levies will continue to fund 5,000 basic education classified employee FTEs.
….no change to levy equity (property poor school districts will continue to struggle).
….no funding source is included in the bill. A separate tax bill (or in this case, several new tax bills) must be passed to fund any or all of the House proposal.
If you are interested in my analysis of the classified employee impacts in the Senate solution, go to this earlier entry.
Here is a good “side by side” analysis completed by House staff of the major differences between the House and Senate solutions.
If you don’t have anything to do for three hours, here is the hearing on the competing solutions: