Legislators got their first look at the proposed state education budget yesterday during a meeting of the House Ways and Means Education Committee. The 6.7 billion dollar spending plan is one of the largest in state history. Interim State Schools Superintendent Ed Richardson calls it an excellent budget.
The budget includes money to hire 190 new teachers for grades 4-6, along with a 2.5 percent pay raise for all state education employees. It also includes a $20 million funding increase for the state's First Class Pre-K program. A public hearing was held on the budget yesterday. The committee approved the proposal this morning. It now moves to the full House.