The House amended HB 1388, the School Finance Act bill, on second reading yesterday. This bill would have cut funding at 106 charter schools by redistributing at-risk money to only those students who technically qualify for Free/Reduced cost lunches. The problem stemmed from the fact that only 28% of the state's charter schools offer a hot lunch program and not all of those have "approved" programs that allow the school to qualify for the federal reimbursement program.
State Representatives also amended the bill to include a total of $10 million in charter school capital construction money. The base amount is $5 million. Last year the General Assembly cut $3 million and returned the capital construction fund to the base amount after several years of higher funding. According to the amendment, the additional $5 million will be distributed based on need, as in the BEST bill (i.e., ADA, health & safety prioritized), and not using the standard formula that's been used in the past.
The House should consider HB 1388 on third reading today and it could be heard as early as tomorrow (Thursday) in Senate Education.