Other revenue equalization entered the legislative fray.
Equalization of other revenue dollars collected by school districts from six different tax areas came in 2016 as part of the Blue Ribbon Task Force package that increased in teacher pay. A five-year step down period began this year with districts keeping 80 percent of their other revenue dollars, with the additional 20 percent being equalized, and each year thereafter equalization increasing by 20 percent.
“They’re (schools) obviously hurting,” Rep. Spencer Gosch, a sponsor of the bill said. “It’s not fair that somebody’s winning and somebody’s not winning on this.”
S.D. Department of Education CFO Matt Flett said the other revenues that are distributed to schools were “chosen for their similarities” across the state and the equalization of these dollars were part of the compromise to form the funding formula package in 2016.
“Let’s continue to look big picture,” Flett said. “This is a package. The entire package is working.”
A point Rep. Fred Deutsch refuted.
“It’s (equalization) not working or we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” Rep. Deutsch told fellow committee members.
Rep. Ray Ring did not concur in the assertion.
“To me, this makes perfectly good sense, to equalize all of this,” Rep. Ring said. “If we’re going to equalize school aid, let’s equalize all the funds available.”
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