With the fate of many of the K-12 education bills decided or in their final legislative stages, the focus in the final two weeks of the legislature’s main run turns to funding.
This week, Senate Bill 49, which sets the School District General Fund levy, target teacher salary and overhead rate for FY 2022, will be heard by the Joint Appropriations committee after being deferred to the main funding body of the legislature by the Senate Education in January.
As noted in the South Dakota Department of Education’s School Funding: State Aid Snapshot the increase from FY 2017, which was the first year the target teacher salary was utilized, to FY 2022 has been $4,100, from $48,500 in FY17 to $52,600 in FY22.
The snapshot notes since the cut to state aid in FY 2012 to the proposed increase this upcoming fiscal year (FY 2022), the compound inflation adopted by the legislature is at 23.33 percent compared to CPI-W, which is the determinant of the required annual increase in school funding of three percent or inflation, whichever is less, at 19.16 percent during the same timeframe.
The snapshot also highlights South Dakota as ranking 36th in the nation in revenue receipts per student, 36th in expenditures per student and 48th in salaries of public school teachers.
Along with the increase in state aid and to the target teacher salary, SB 49 will:
- Decrease all property tax levies with owner-occupied set at 3.153, agricultural at 1.409 and commercial at 6.525;
- Sets the Overhead Rate at 37.3 percent;
- Lowers the Special Education Levy to 1.67; and
- Sets the Special Education Disability Levels for the 2021-22 school.
Coupled with SB 49 and it’s ongoing funding are multiple one-time money proposals, that include:
- Senate Bill 64, which Revises the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2021, would provide $11 million in one-time funding to schools via $4 million distributed to all public school districts on a $30 per-student basis while the remaining amount would fill in enrollment decreases in some school districts, determined utilizing a three-year enrollment review;
- House Bill 1279, which appropriates $900,000 for the development of civics curriculum and resources;
- House Bill 1280, which appropriates $1.5 million to update the educator certification system;
- House Bill 1283, which appropriates $200,000 to update the South Dakota virtual school.