Today voters in the Redfield school district head to the polls to vote on an opt-out proposal. It’s a practice that’s become more common place for districts in recent years, especially following the $52 million cut made to the per-student allocation for fiscal year 2012.
For FY 2013, approximately 43 percent of school districts have opt-outs in place, which totals more than $26 million.
The graphs below show the total opt-out dollars being used by school districts over the last ten fiscal years and how it compares with the PSA during that same time. Information from DOE and ASBSD.
You can see a dramatic jump in the total opt-out dollars used from FY 2011 to FY 2012.
FY 2007 is the only other year total opt-out dollars topped $20 million. It should be noted in FY 2007 there were 17 more school districts than in FY 2013. The total dollar amount and number of opt-outs decreased the three subsequent years and saw a minimal increase in FY 2011 when the PSA was frozen.
In a Mitchell Daily Republic article published Friday, Executive Director Wade Pogany noted district taxpayers could be the ones that feel the effects of underfunding in districts.
“Our school districts are still in crisis and are still in the hole, and we need to get back, at the very least, to where were for funding in 2009,” Pogany said in the article, referring to highpoint of the PSA, which came in the 2009-10 school year.
Pogany has said a return to the PSA’s highpoint could be an advocacy goal for the 2014 session.
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