July 1st marked the beginning of the new fiscal year, and while the budget battle was focused on K-12 funding increases and teacher pay raises, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne pointed out a few other areas that got some love.

The decade has been defined by higher ed funding decreases, but Dardenne says the state has turned a corner.

“Higher education got almost ten million dollars for formula adjustment for our two and four-year schools, an additional 20 million dollars or so in specific appropriations, 15 million dollars more for TOPS.”

Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed noted that’s now two years in a row for higher ed funding increases.

Dardenne says this year’s budget surplus will allow the government to invest more in the state’s oldest, and youngest citizens.

“Elderly affairs, for example got an increase with additional money going to councils on aging across the state. The early childhood program for the first time really got some money for the 0-3-year-old program, to at least give it a start.”

Early childhood education received 18.8 million in new funding this year.

School shootings are at the front of many parents’ minds and Dardenne says they’ve allocated new funds to school safety.

“It’s gunna enable State Police to staff a fusion center that is going to support school safety technology initiatives all across the state.”

State Police says they’ll have more information about the fusion center in the near future.

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