Monday brings the latest installment in the study of school funding by South Dakota legislators.
Members of the legislative interim committee will reconvene for the third time in Pierre to hear testimony on and discuss the decisions of local school district leaders to seek opt-outs and utilize capital outlay flexibility.
The committee is charged with examining how the school funding formula affects a district’s decision to seek an opt-out or utilize special tax levies, funding’s effect on graduation and technology’s relation to teaching.
“This is the nuts and bolts conversation of the study,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“The subjects studied in prior meetings have been beneficial for the committee to see how dollars are put to use, but this meeting will show the different ways districts make ends meet and the despair of the current funding situation for many of our public schools.”
In their two prior meetings, the committee studied districts’ use of technology in classrooms and programs that help students graduate, as well as the role of the state funding formula and property taxes in K-12 funding.
The agenda for Monday’s meeting includes scheduled testimony from Harrisburg Superintendent Jim Holbeck on funding inequities among school districts and from seven other school officials on school district opt-outs and the use of capital outlay funds.
A block of time has also been scheduled for public testimony, should anyone wish to share funding information from their district.
Committee members will also review and discuss written testimony, gathered and submitted by ASBSD and SASD, from several school districts on their current funding situations.
“We received a great response from districts who wanted to share their story,” Pogany said. “It’s up to the committee to now put that information to use for the betterment of K-12 education.”
For updates from Monday’s meeting check the ASBSD Blog. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the room 413 of the Capitol building.