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March31

Appropriators review role in waiver process

Legislative appropriators recently discussed their role in the accountability waiver process.

 

“We’re walking in some new ground here,” Sen. Larry Tidemann, Chair of the Appropriations committee, said during the committee’s first interim meeting of 2017.

 

The Appropriators reviewed the School Finance Accountability Board’s adopted accountability rules and how the committee fits in the process.

 

Read the accountability rules here and review your district’s accountability targets using the S.D. Department of Education’s Accountability Calculator here.

 

SFAB’s teacher accountability rules, which were adopted by the board two weeks ago, outline the different facets of the board’s work including the waiver request process, the documentation school districts are required to submit and the factors the board must consider.

 

Rules also state SFAB school districts must submit a waiver to the board before the first Friday in November and the board must make a recommendation on the waiver prior to the last Monday in November.

 

Within five days of their waiver decision, SFAB must submit the recommendation to the legislature’s Joint Appropriations committee.

 

S.D. DOE Management Analyst Travis Jordan said it was the Appropriations committee’s decision of when they would review the waivers, with indications it could take place in December or January.

 

“At that time will the districts that (submitted a) waiver, will they be allowed to testify at that time?” Rep. Dan Ahlers asked.

 

Sen. Tidemann followed up on the question by asking DOE representatives if anything in the rules explicitly stated if the committee “would take proponent or opponent testimony” during their review.

 

“We didn’t feel that we had the authority to bind you with rules so we stuck to the rules of the finance accountability board,” DOE Director of Finance and Management Tamara Darnall said.

 

Sen. Deb Peters asked why the committee would divert from the decision of the accountability board.

 

“Do we want to overturn somebody (who has) expertise in that matter?” Peters asked. “Unless it’s (board’s decision) blatant I don’t know why we’d overturn.”

 

A district submitting a waiver that reached appropriators will be notified by SFAB of the legislative committee’s decision no fewer than ten business days after it is returned to the board.

 

SFAB members are tentatively scheduled to meet on Thursday, November 16 at 1 p.m. (CDT).

 

For updates on the waiver process, check the ASBSD Blog and Twitter feed.

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