Schools receive 2.5 percent increase as Gov. signs budget, levy bills
With the governor’s signature on the final few bills left in legislative session, South Dakota schools are officially set to receive a 2.5 percent increase in state aid for the 2019-20 school year.
On Wednesday (3/27), Gov. Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill 191, which appropriates funds for the FY2020 general fund budget, and Senate Bill 179, which revises the property tax levies for the general fund of school districts and for state aid.
The two bills in conjunction provide the 2.5 percent increase in state aid to South Dakota’s public school districts. The $9.9 million increase in new money is a 2.1 percent increase in actual dollars, but the target teacher salary set in SB 179 equates to a 2.5 percent increase.
“We’re grateful for Gov. Noem and the legislature’s hard work and support in getting the schools a much-needed increase in state aid above what’s required by law,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“Gov. Noem upped the required increase in her budget proposal and put the final stamp on it and the legislature worked tirelessly on the budget and committed these dollars to our districts.”
In the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, March 13, just ahead of a massive blizzard that affected most of the state, Representatives passed SB 191 on a 53-6 vote and Senators passed it 27-6.
Senators also passed SB 179 during the final hours of session on a 32-0 vote.
SB 179 will set the target teacher salary at $50,360 and the school district general fund levies for commercial property at $6.821 per $1,000 of valuation, ag. land at $1.473 and owner-occupied at $3.296. Representatives had previously approved the bill on a 60-2 vote.
In addition, Gov. Noem signed Senate Bill 182, which revises the special education property tax levy for school districts and the special education formula, with Senators passing the bill on a 28-4 vote and Representatives approving it on a 60-3 vote.
SB 182 increases the levy on special education to $1.616 per $1,000 of valuation and adjusts the disability level allocations accordingly.
ASBSD supported all three bills, which with their approval and signature, brought the legislative session to a close.
For updates on issues affecting K-12 education in South Dakota, check the ASBSD Blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page and Bill Tracker.
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