Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer
Lew Faust, Dir. of Business Services, provided the board with an update on legislation affecting school funding. The House had passed a tax bill, but the governor has said he won’t sign it. The tax bill would roll back most of the 2012 tax cuts and would raise almost $1 billion over a two-year period. Senate bill S.B. 27, which would have resulted in a 5% cut to districts, was not debated on the floor. If that bill had advanced, it would have meant a reduction in funding to USD 383 of $1,468,000.
House bill H. B. 2270 addresses K-12 funding and is very similar to the old finance formula. The bill would provide funding for all-day kindergarten (current funding is for half-day). “Foundation state aid” would replace the term “base state aid” and would increase over a period of four years to $4,895 per pupil (current base per pupil funding is $3,852), and then increases after that would be based on the Midwest Consumer Price Index. Transportation funding would be different. Currently, districts are reimbursed for transporting students who live more than two-and-a-half miles from school, and with the new formula, districts can choose to transport students who live closer, but districts will be funded only for the number of students who are actually bused. There will be some changes in virtual school funding and at-risk. If the proposed formula were applied as presented, USD 383 would receive $3.9 million more in state funding. In order to fund the proposed formula, $309 million in state funds would be needed, so the question is how will the state fund the formula
Enrollment numbers used for the finance formula would be the previous year’s enrollment, so there would be no surprises about the total number of students. Districts impacted by the military would still have the second military count date, but funding would be based on the net number of students as opposed to using the number of new military students to the district.