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March11

K-12 levy bills leaning towards finish line

The homestretch is here for the K-12 education levy bills.

 

Senate Bill 179, which revises the property tax levies for the general fund of school districts and for state aid, passed the House Appropriations committee on a 6-1 vote and the full House on a 60-2 vote.

 

“School boards need your help,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany told Appropriators. “We still need to meet the accountabilities.”

 

ASBSD support SB 179, which now returns to the Senate for review and could end up in a Conference Committee between the Senate and House as the final budget figures are worked out next week.

 

Assuming the 2.5 percent increase in state aid is approved by the legislature, SB 179 will set the target teacher salary at $50, 360 and the school district general fund levies for commercial property at $6.821 per $1,000 of valuation, ag. land at $1.473 and owner-occupied at $3.296.

 

“We made the efforts with the Blue Ribbon Task Force to increase our teachers’ salaries,” Rep. Jean Hunhoff said during the bill’s committee hearing.

 

“We need to continue to work.”

 

Work will also continue on Senate Bill 182, which revises the special education property tax levy for school districts and the special education formula, as it passed House Appropriations on a 6-1 vote and the full House on a 60-3 vote.

 

“School boards are under an incredible amount of pressure to meet special education costs,” Pogany testified. “The number of special education students that we’re serving is going up. We’re doing everything we can to meet the needs of our special needs kids.”

 

SB 182 increases the levy on special education to $1.616 per $1,000 of valuation and adjusts the disability level allocations accordingly.

 

ASBSD supports SB 182, which also now heads to the Senate for review and likely ends up in a Conference Committee as the budget is set.

 

For updates on these bills and others, check the ASBSD BlogTwitter feedFacebook page and Bill Tracker.

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