Two school funding related bills find favor

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Two school funding related bills find favor

Two school funding related bills found favor in their legislative process.


House Bill 1080, which extends the average teacher compensation targets until the 2023-24 school year, passed Senate Education on a 6-1 vote and the Senate on a 29-6 vote.


HB 1080 would reinstate the previous requirement in law, which was active for the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, that a district’s average teacher compensation must exceed the level established in the 2016-17 school year – the first year revenue from the half-cent sales tax increase was utilized for the teacher pay increase.


“This was the promise that was made,” Sen. Jim Bolin said on the Senate floor related to the passage of the sales tax increase being utilized to fund teacher pay increases.


“Let’s maintain accountability.”


ASBSD monitored the bill, which now heads to Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk for review and signature.


Another bill making its way to the Senate side is House Bill 1119, which multiplies 0.10 by the number of homeschool children who are participating in interscholastic activities to the fall enrollment count for the state aid formula.


HB 1119 passed the House on a 39-29 vote.


ASBSD supports the bill which addresses the topic broached during last year’s debate on Senate Bill 177, which made significant changes to homeschool laws, including the activity participation policies, but was ultimately not included.


Rep. Rocky Blare, the bill’s prime sponsor, told fellow Senators during the bill’s debate on the floor he “had several school districts” come to him about the “added costs” associated with homeschool student participation that he referred to as an unfunded mandate.


A reference Rep. Taffy Howard disagreed with.


“This is not an unfunded mandate,” Rep. Howard said. “They (public schools) don’t need this money.”


Rep. Will Mortenson, who attempted to attach the funding on last year’s homeschool bill, countered the point of there being no need for the funding.


“(HB 1119) take care of something that I believe is an oversight,” Rep. Mortenson. “This is a very narrow fix. It is well targeted.”


HB 1119 now moves to the Senate Education committee for a hearing.


For updates on these bills and other pieces of legislation from the 2022 session, check the ASBSD Blog and Billtracker page.

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