Kiser, Brabrand, and VASS Government Liaison Tom Smith discussed Brabrand’s talking points prior to the webinar. The discussion included incorporating these possible recommendations in Brabrand's remarks:
Preserve New State Revenue
Try to stay as close as possible to top line items numbers of the Conference Committee budget report.
The first priority should be to preserve biennial SOQ re-benchmarking and other “routine” formula updates to education funding.
If changes must be made, do not make formula-based changes which could have long lasting impacts.
Err on the side of minimizing additional local fiscal impact and preserving local flexibility to respond to current crisis and inevitable budget pressures. One specific ask would be to undo the proposed encumbering 30% of per pupil lottery allocations for non-recurring expenses and eliminate the proposed required local match.
Governor’s Discretion over Stimulus Funds
Recommend that funding allocations not be overly restrictive or tied to specific positions or staffing ratios, but instead provide flexibility for school divisions to deploy based on local needs.
Areas to consider:
First priority would be to help school divisions preserve existing staffing
Funding to augment and expand local technology hardware and connectivity offerings (examples: laptops and other devices, wireless hotspots, broadband, video conferencing, online educational resources).
Funding to allow school divisions to augment socio-emotional supports (again, provided without specific staffing requirements or ratios, but instead flexibly so school divisions can prioritize based on need).