With fewer than ten days left in legislative session, focus is turning towards finalizing the state budget and board members need to be advocating to their legislators for an increase in state aid for next year.
A few weeks ago, members of the Joint Appropriations committee adopted revenue projections for the Fiscal Year 2019 budget totaling $1.641 billion, which exceed the revenue figures proposed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard during his budget address.
Gov. Daugaard’s proposal did not include a funding increase – beyond an uptick for increased enrollment – for public education, but the adopted projections contain nearly $19 million in additional funding, which could be used to provide new money to our schools.
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“Board members must make their voices heard by legislators about the need for new dollars. Elected officials communicating with elected officials is a very powerful advocating tool.”
State law requires schools to receive an annual increase in funding of three percent or inflation, whichever is less. The inflationary factor came in at 1.7 percent for next school year, which equates to approximately $11 to $12 million in new money.
“Any new money for schools this session would be beneficial,” Pogany said.
“We have to communicate with our legislators and let them know new money in the formula for next school year would go a long way in advancing the goals set by the Blue Ribbon Task Force and enhancing public education in South Dakota.”