The group charged with reviewing and acting upon accountability waivers met for the first time in 2019.
School Finance Accountability Board (SFAB) members convened on Monday (3/25) to review timelines for accountability waiver and update the teacher compensation accountability request for waiver form.
Established in 2016 as part of the funding formula overall, SFAB reviews teacher compensation and general fund cash balance waivers and suggests recommendations related to waivers submitted by school districts in violation of the accountabilities to the Legislature’s Appropriations committee for final review. The board recommended 15 unconditional and 14 conditional waivers related to teacher compensation in 2017 and 3 waivers related general fund cash balance accountability in 2018.
There was no teacher compensation accountability during the 2017-18 school year, thus there being no waiver process.
The accountability returned in 2018-19 with SFAB members approving the updated teacher compensation waiver form on a unanimous vote.
“That (teacher compensation) amount needs to be…at least more than what (districts) spent in FY17,” S.D. DOE CFO Matt Flett told SFAB members, noting that by state law the penalty for those districts who failed to exceed the FY17 teacher compensation amount during this fiscal year could be hit with a “reduction in state aid” of $500 per teacher employed.
Flett added that districts have “been projecting out their FY19 ending average” but those that may have questions about whether or not they will meet the teacher compensation accountability can utilize the Department’s Teacher Compensation Accountability Calculator.
Districts must submit teacher compensation and annual report data by Thursday, August 1 and will be notified on Friday, October 4 if they have missed the teacher compensation accountability. DOE will post the waiver forms and any supporting documentation on Wednesday, October 9 and the deadline for districts in violation to submit their waiver and supporting documentation is Thursday, October 31.
The same timeline will be followed for the general fund cash balance waiver process, as well. General fund cash balance caps are based on enrollment tiers and calculated by using the district’s lowest monthly fund balance of the 12-month period. Enrollment tiers for the fund balance caps include:
- Less than 200 students – 40 percent
- 200 to 600 students – 30 percent
- More than 600 students – 25 percent
Districts in violation of either accountability are not required to submit a waiver, but will face the financial penalty associated with the violation. Districts not receiving any state aid are exempted from the process.
SFAB members will meet in Pierre to review and act upon submitted waivers on Wednesday, November 13 and each district that has submitted a waiver must be in attendance for the review. The board will convene on Wednesday, November 20 to review their final report and submit it to Appropriations.
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