We are in the final weeks of session. Lawmakers are tired, and there are significant differences between the House and the Senate budget proposals to work out. This year, there are also new budget dynamics as federal pandemic relief funds will expire next year and must be allocated and spent before they do.
Amidst this, our big headline is: Ninth Grade Success Funding is not included in either budget proposal. Worse, the budget proposals are set to use funds that the state Office of Public Instruction had already allocated for Ninth Grade Success and other programs, to fund other priorities. This would result in devastating cuts to programs that are working, and that are already in place to help students and families around the state.
We need your help to preserve funding for Ninth Grade Success – please take action and sign our petition!
What’s next? The House & Senate will need to reconcile their two budget proposals through a conference committee, where lead budget writers for both chambers will negotiate the contents of the final budget. We are keeping the pressure on to include Ninth Grade Success funding – without this action, 12,000 students will lose access to this proven program.
In a bright spot, our juvenile legal financial obligations work got a second life through a combination of bills and budget provisos! HB 1169 was amended to include elimination of all non-restitution court fees and costs. Additionally, two budget provisos were included in the budget proposals to fund additional data and community engagement work on this important topic. HB 1169 will need to be voted off the Senate floor by April 12, and the provisos, one in each budget, will need to both be included in the final budget proposal.
The lesson of this session is, your continued advocacy makes a difference! Thanks to you, our fines & fees work lives to see another day, and I know that with your help we can get across the finish line for Ninth Grade Success. Take action today!