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Waiver process available for districts not meeting mandates

The data on teacher pay is in and with that comes the need for some districts to seek a waiver.


Review the statewide teacher compensation data here.


With the passage of the half-cent increase to the state sales tax used to improve teacher pay, as well as the new state aid funding formula, came state mandates requiring the added dollars be spent on salaries at specific levels


The mandates for the 2016-17 school year required 85 percent of the total state aid dollars be allocated for teacher pay and benefits AND  85 percent of the new revenue percentage increase schools received to be spent on certified instructional staff.


A district not meeting either or both mandates faces a penalty of a 50 percent of their increase in state aid be returned to state. However, districts may apply to the School Finance Accountability Board (SFAB), who will review the district’s reason(s) for not meeting the mandate(s), for a waiver from the penalty.


Circumstances for the board to consider a waiver for the Teacher Compensation Accountabilities include:

  1. Retirement of a Teacher;
  2. Declining Student Enrollment;
  3. Change in Budgeted Costs for Benefits;
  4. An Unanticipated Change in Teacher FTE; or
  5. Any Un-Foreseen or Extenuating Circumstance.

Districts must apply for a waiver by Friday, November 3.


Final rules for SFAB were adopted by the board in June and the state legislature’s Rules Review committee in July. SFAB rules can be downloaded here and timeline of the appeal process can be downloaded here.


Waivers submitted to SFAB must be reviewed and decided upon by the board before the last Monday in November (11/27).


Waivers approved by SFAB are subject to review by the legislature’s Appropriations committee. A district denied a waiver by SFAB can appeal to South Dakota’s Secretary of Education; if the board’s decision is upheld by the Secretary it is final, but if overturned it is subject to review by the legislature’s Appropriations committee.


SFAB is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, October 19. ASBSD will provide updates from the meeting on the ASBSD Blog and Twitter feed.

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