School Finance Accountability Board members met for the final time in 2016, reading the board’s rules for the first time and approving the cash balance and teacher compensation waivers.
SFAB’s rules outline the different facets of the board’s work including the waiver request process, which requires waiver requests be submitted to the board before the first Friday in November, the documentation school districts are required to submit and how the factors the board must consider.
Rules state SFAB will review and make recommendations on waivers before the last Monday in November and within five days of their decision submit recommendations to the legislature’s Joint Appropriations committee, who will make the final determination on the district’s waiver.
It is noted in the rules the district submitting a waiver that has reached the Joint Appropriations committee will be notified by SFAB of the legislative committee’s decision no fewer than ten business days after it is delivered to the board.
Board members also voted to approve the two waiver forms districts can complete to come before SFAB. The Teacher Compensation Accountabilities and Cash Balance Penalty waivers were unanimously passed by the board with an amendment made to each waiver’s consideration request section.
SFAB Chair, and Tri-Valley Superintendent, Mike Lodmel suggested the final consideration on each waiver be amended to state “Other Extenuating Circumstances” in order for a district “to come and plead their case” in the instance they were met with a condition that kept them from meeting the criteria required by law.
The teacher compensation survey conducted by the South Dakota Department of Education was also reviewed by the board and showed the weighted average increase in teacher salaries for the state was 11.9 percent, or a $46,924 projected average salary for this year. DOE representatives noted the information was strictly preliminary data.
The board is tentatively scheduled to meet in Pierre on Thursday, March 16 and could include a public hearing on the board’s administrative rules.