Update: State Education Finance Study Commission
Below is an update on the State Education Finance Study Commission from Nan Brown.
Updates have been posted on the Georgia DOE website from the State Education Finance Study Commission meeting on June 30, 2011. In overview, updates reflect the subcommittees set up to address issues related to funding, with initial topics and meeting dates (http://tinyurl.com/6a449mz) and topics to eventually be covered by each subcommittee (http://tinyurl.com/SEFSCtopics711 These were modified somewhat from the discussion on June 30th, and it seems likely we will need to give input on media funding to Subcommittees 1, 2, and 4.
Subcommittee 1 will review foundational funding formulas; this covers current QBE program weights. We may want to advocate for recognition for the need for media clerk coverage as well as proportional staffing for school size. (Media centers were mentioned in the June 30th meeting but don’t appear in the revised notes here, so we want to make sure media centers aren’t overlooked in this funding.)
Subcommittee 2 is charged with consideration of funding support services. Media funding and personnel are included, but pretty far down the list. This is likely where we’ll want to share the impact of the loss of staff and designated funding on media centers to date.
Subcommittee 4 will address moving from compliance to accountability models. This includes addressing whether school systems must spend funds on what they are earned for, a review of the 65% rule for direct instructional spending, and the need for expenditure controls. (If spending funds as earned includes personnel as well as materials, this could be very important to media centers. Again, we’ll want to share recent results of the loss of expenditure controls and uses of funding for purposes other than as earned.)
White papers will be posted as education department and legislative staff complete them. The web page for the commission, which should be updated with white papers and information from subcommittee meetings, may be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/DOEpageSEFSC
If you have information or stories to share, please continue to send those to me. Again, we will only relate stories to general geographic areas and level (elementary, etc.), but stories of how students are impacted by cuts resonate particularly with the legislators.
If you live and/or work in the area covered by one of the commission members, please also consider contacting that person directly with your perspectives. Remember, “all politics is local!” (Thomas P. O’Neill, Sr.)