Community-based school bill sent to Senate floor

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Community-based school bill sent to Senate floor

The proposal to establish community-based schools returned this session.


Senate Bill 139, which creates a community-based school utilizing state funds, passed the Senate Education committee on a 6-1 vote.


ASBSD opposes the bill as it was introduced in the same form as it has in previous years thus raising the same questions and concerns.


“The objections we heard on the Senate floor last year are still there,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany told committee members. “They didn’t go away.”


Pogany pointed out one of main concerns in the proposal was on “the first page” of the bill and is in “the governance of the program.”


“You’re creating an entirely new education system. You’re creating a whole new board,” Pogany said, adding there’s no discretionary power for the local school board as the community-based school “must be approved if” its application meets the criteria listed.


“That’s not discretionary for school boards. That school board has to approve that application.”


Pogany also cited the funding model problems remain as it puts the community-based school in the funding formula to ensure it receives the local district’s portion of state aid for the students enrolled in the community-based school and receives a “portion of the total funding received by the district.”


This bill is about taking public dollars,” Pogany said. “So they have a funding source.”


A point acknowledged by Sen. Troy Heinert.


“Maybe you’re right. Maybe it is a funding bill,” Sen. Heinert said. “Maybe it is all about the money.”


SB 139 heads to the Senate floor for debate and vote, most likely on Wednesday, February 9.


For updates on the bill and other pieces of legislation from the 2022 legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog and Billtracker page.

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