The House and Senate on Thursday approved a compromise $20.2 billion state budget. Senators voted 30-15 in favor of the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. About a half hour after the Senate vote, the House passed the budget by a 71-45 vote.
Some of the conference budget details are as follows:
- LEA Adjustment: $143 million to reduce the local school district $503 million discretionary cut for next year. Local school districts must make $360 million in discretionary cuts next year and face the loss of $259 million in federal stimulus money, which runs out in a few months.
- Teacher Raises: Provides $84 million to local school districts to support an annual salary increase of 1.2% for state-funded public school employees.
- Education Reform: Provides $27 million to the Department of Public Instruction to carry out the elements of the Excellent Public Schools Act. The reform package includes a literacy plan requiring more children to read at grade level before they’re promoted to fourth grade, requires A to F grades for schools, and directs local districts to develop plans for teacher performance bonuses.
Governor Perdue now has 10 days to decide whether to veto the measure or let it become law. She vetoed the two-year budget last year, but the veto was overridden.