House and Senate leaders are meeting in a corner room of the Legislative Office Building, still trying to reach a final budget agreement by the Monday, the end of the state fiscal year. Most of the differences in education spending between the House and Senate budgets have been resolved, at least by the lawmakers on the education subcommittee.
No decision is final until it gets the stamp of approval from the folks in the corner room, but it looks like lawmakers will spend $30 million to offset the huge increases in fuel costs for school buses. The House budget included $45 million for the increase. The Senate budget had $11 million.
State education officials say that $45 million may not be enough and $30 million definitely falls short, which will mean that the public school fund will have to make up the difference, leaving less money for other education programs.
So much for this being an education budget.