Here are the key local aid features from the final conference report on the Fiscal 2012 budget approved today:
- The basic local aid numbers — Chapter 70 (education aid) and Unrestricted General Government Aid — remain unchanged through the process since January. See this link for my communities’ numbers.
- Additionally Section 198 provides for a distribution of half of all money reverted (unspent) from state accounts at the end of Fiscal 2011 (up to a maximum total of $65 million). The funds would be distributed through the lottery formula. This money is contingent on the amount of reversions and so would arrive in the Fall too late for use in budgeting, but it may be a few hundred thousand for each of my communities.
- The final budget adopts the higher House number for the special education circuit breaker (line item 7061-0012) — $213 million — a more or less full restoration of previously cut funding. The final reimbursement percentage will be determined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education based on claims.
- The final budget also adopts the House language (in line item 1775-0100) requiring that the Operational Services Division provide inflation increases for out-of-district placements. This increases costs for municipalities.