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February21

Two percent increase bill one step closer

The first step in providing a two percent increase in state aid for schools was taken.

 

Members of the Senate Appropriations committee approved Senate Bill 53, which would bring the per-student allocation to approximately $4,877 for the 2015-16 school year.

 

Along with the proposed two percent increase, SB 53 adds the costs of school technology, assessment and the sparsity factor to the school funding formula, which is the mechanism to get above the rate of inflation and statutorily required 1.5 percent increase.

 

Adding the cost of the three areas to the formula means local taxpayers will help fund statewide initiatives, which is similarly done with the small school adjustment and limited English proficiency dollars that are included in the formula.

 

Rolling the three initiatives into the formula would save the state $2.6 million.

 

Committee members also passed Senate Bill 54, which provides the proposed two percent increase in state aid for schools, changes the maximum level of the special education tax levy, adjusts the funding for disability levels and adds the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to local need calculation at the statewide level.

 

ASBSD is monitoring both bills.

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