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February12

Funding at the forefront

Wednesday marks a big day in Senate Appropriations, both literally and figuratively. Committee members have 16 bills on the docket, including six bill hearings and two that could be acted on related to K-12 education funding.

 

Here’s a breakdown of the bills:

 

Senate Bill 28: The vehicle for an increase to property tax levies for a school district’s general fund. The bill calls for a raise to the non-agricultural levy of $0.535, up to $9.163 per thousand dollars of valuation, a decrease of $0.24, down to $2.082 for the agricultural levy and an increase to the owner-occupied levy of $0.25, up to $4.279. ASBSD is monitoring the bill.

 

Senate Bill 191: Provides the proposed three percent increase to state aid. The bill would increase the per-student allocation to $4,626.65 for the 2013-14 school year. ASBSD supports the bill.

 

Senate Bill 193: Changes the language of the state aid increase from “less” to “more” as it relates to schools receiving an annual percentage increase or the change in CPI-W. The bill does not set a cap on the percentage increase for state aid. ASBSD supports the bill.

 

Senate Bill 196: Modifies the state aid increase to general and special education by adjusting increase to be based on the projected state general fund increase or CPI-W change, whichever is greater. The increase would be capped at six percent. ASBSD supports the bill.

 

Senate Bill 229: Appropriates $1.5 million in one-time dollars from the general fund to school districts for Career and Technical Education programs. ASBSD is opposed to the bill.

 

Senate Bill 233: Establishes the critical needs teaching scholarship program for student’s looking to enter the teaching profession in a critical needs curriculum area and stay in South Dakota after completing their degree. The program would receive $5 million from the general fund to start a trust fund for the program. ASBSD is monitoring the bill.

 

Votes could be cast on Senate Bill 15 and 188, as well. Each bill had hearings last week (Feb. 7).

 

SB 15 calls for the tax levy for special education be raised to $1.53 per thousand dollars of taxable valuation and would set the state’s qualifying levy at $1.33 per thousand dollars of taxable valuation and would set a $4 million cap on the extraordinary cost fund. ASBSD is monitoring the bill.

 

SB 188 would provide $500,000 in funding, taken from the general fund, for the Teach for America grant program. Proponents of the bill testified it would allow TFA to increase the number of teachers recruited and retained by the program to 100, up from 57, and expand beyond the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations to other areas. ASBSD is opposed to the bill.

 

House Appropriations

 

Two bills will appear before the House Appropriations committee tomorrow after being passed and referred to appropriations by the House Education committee last week.

 

House Bill 1166 would reward teachers in school districts with bonuses based on the percentage of graduates not taking remediation courses upon entering higher education. The bill calls for up to $1 million, taken from the general fund, for the rewards. The rewards are not ongoing.

 

HB 1172 calls for the appropriation of $1.5 million from the general fund in the form of one-time dollars for school districts to use on career and technical education courses.

 

Combined, the two bills would offer $2.5 million in one-time funds from the pool of $26.5 million in excess general funds not appropriated in Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s budget proposal.

 

ASBSD is opposed to both bills due to its removal of dollars from the general fund.

 

For updates on these bills, check the ASBSD blog and bill tracker.

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