Legislators Address More School Cuts

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State legislators draft new bills cutting even more of the school budget.

News 13 spoke with the State Superintendent of Public Education who believes these cuts are only small changes.

Less than two months remain until the 2018 State Legislative Session.

As days narrow down until January, legislators move forward with ideas affecting the budget.

Jillian Balow said, “The best predictors are watching what the interim committees are doing for the legislature."

Tuesday, the Joint Education Committee members drafted several bills for further discussion next year.

"There's nothing in the cuts that were proposed yesterday that give me alarm that we're getting too close to students."

They include the student enrollment calculation model which legislators believe is flawed.

The reason why is because it counts students more than once.

It's based off of a three year average tracking students in certain schools.

Legislators believe this makes funding hard since student populations can shift at any time.

Cuts also include scaling back on statewide testing dollars and maintenance worker funding.

"Of course all those need to go through the gauntlet of the legislative session, but I would anticipate additional cuts for education, but it would be difficult to put a number on that."

And those new cuts, total 16 million dollars. They're "small changes" that educators believe won't affect students.

"Keeping those cuts as far away from the classroom as possible," said Balow.

The last bill implements computer science as a subject taught in schools.

Senator Chris Rothfuss commented, “So we are really emphasizing that future skill set and prioritizing as we move forward."

Balow also hopes that bill passes.

Since 2015, she wanted computer science to be taught statewide.

School maintenance is also included in those cuts.