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January29

K-12 gets committee focus tomorrow

Wednesday’s committee schedule marks a big day for legislation related to K-12 education.

 

House State Affairs committee members will hear two bills that would improve upon the current K-12 education funding situation.

 

House Bill 1201 calls for an increase to the per-student allocation dollar amount for the next three years to balance the “funding shortfalls” school districts suffered starting in 2011.

 

For the 2013-14 school year, the PSA would be raised by nearly seven percent to $4,802 and to $4,978 and at $5,154 (increases of 3.5 percent) in subsequent years. The PSA would return to the current funding formula level, with districts receiving a three percent increase or the change in the CPI-W, whichever is less following the 2015-16 school year.

 

House Bill 1202 would change the index factor increase for education funding from three percent to four percent. Gov. Dennis Daugaard proposed a three percent increase for school districts in his budget, which set the PSA at $4,625. A four percent increase would move the projected PSA to $4,670.

 

ASBSD supports both bills.

 

In addition to supporting the funding bills, ASBSD will stand behind Senate Bill 99, which changes the term “opt out” to “instructional support levy.” A hearing for SB 99 is scheduled in Senate Taxation tomorrow.

 

ASBSD will take opposition against Senate Bill 167. The bill would require executive or closed sessions be recorded and maintained for one year. The bill has the potential to undermine confidentiality and stymie dialogue among board members on key closed session topics.

 

SB 167 appears before the Senate Local Government committee tomorrow.

 

The House Education committee will hold a hearing for House Bill 1166 tomorrow, as well. The bill would reward school districts based on the number of past year graduates not taking remediation courses upon entering higher education with dollars form the general fund.  ASBSD opposes the bill because it removes dollars from the general fund school districts are in need of.

 

For updates following the committee meetings tomorrow on these bills, check the ASBSD blog and bill tracker.

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