Capital Outlay will remain the same, for now.
The House Education committee killed House Bill 1001, which called for a gradual reduction over a four-year period of the percentage of capital outlay funds that school districts could utilize as part of the flexibility provision prescribed by law, on a 9-5 vote on Wednesday.
“Do we support flexibility?” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany asked during his testimony in opposition of the bill.
“It isn’t right to pull this safety net out from schools. (School districts) need the flexibility to continue.”
ASBSD opposed the bill. Appointed school board members from member districts passed an ASBSD legislative resolution that supported the capital outlay flexibility provision in November at Delegate Assembly.
During the 2013 legislative session, our legislators passed Senate Bill 194, which extended the capital outlay flexibility provision until 2018 without including any stipulations in percentage reduction.
“What changed in the last 12 months?” Pogany asked. “School districts are keenly aware of the sunset date.”
Awareness of what’s ahead on the funding horizon once the sunset date comes was questioned by proponents of the bill.
“There’s a train wreck coming in 2018,” Rep. Dan Dryden, the bill’s sponsor, said about the impending sunset date.
“I’m not intending to hurt or hinder districts. I’ve always been opposed to this,” he said. “Over time we’re eroding that capital outlay fund. This capital outlay is onetime money.”
Pogany said as districts slowly rebuild from the 2011 funding cuts the need for temporary reliance on the fund was not a choice, but rather a necessity for some and he asked for faith in the budgeting practices of districts.
“(School districts) don’t use capital outlay because we want to,” Pogany said. “We use it because we have to. Trust the schools.”
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