SAGE Funding Clears Major Hurdle in Legislature
The highly successful SAGE class size reduction program won a major
victory in the Legislature Tuesday (June 3, 1997).
The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee voted, 10-6, to spend $7.1
million to expand the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education program
to 2nd and 3rd grades over the next two years.
Although the Legislature previously made a commitment to expand the
program, the governor's budget provided no funding to do so. The $7.1
million in extra SAGE money now becomes part of the budget that goes
to the Senate and Assembly.
John Stocks, WEAC's director of government relations, credited members
who contacted their legislators in the last few weeks to fight for expanded
SAGE funding. However, he said members must continue to lobby for the
program because the money still must survive debate in the Senate and
The SAGE program provides funding for schools in low-income areas to
reduce class size in the primary grades. It is currently operating in
kindergarten and 1st grade classes in 30 schools in 21 districts.
Under the Joint Finance vote, the $7.1 million would come from state
aid for other school districts.
Posted June 4, 1997