Legislature approved $40 million to reduce 1st-grade classes to 20
students for each teacher as the first step in what sponsors envision
as a multiyear plan to reduce class sizes in the early grades.
Lawmakers appropriated $20 million for break-the-mold school
projects. State officials are still determining what programs to
fund and how much aid they will provide to individual projects.
Another $20 million was set aside for K-12 programs aimed at
reducing the need for remediation in postsecondary schools.
Legislature gave school districts authority for facilities
planning and required local health agencies to help districts
gain reimbursement for Medicaid services provided to
Legislature approved Governor's plan to abolish the education
department and replace it with a Department of Children,
Families, and Learning in an effort to coordinate several
Lawmakers also passed a bill giving school districts more
discretion over how they spend transportation money, making
it possible to use the savings for other programs.
Legislature raised the cap on charter schools from 35 to 40
and granted the schools more flexibility. Efforts to pass a
school-voucher plan were turned back by the Senate; the
House failed to hold hearings on the issue.
Governor signed a bill aimed at curbing school violence
that includes money for drug-abuse-prevention programs,
alter-native schools and centers for disruptive or truant
students, and more police for secondary schools.