SB 53 was debated in the House of Representatives March 10, 2015.. This bill would have given school funding not only it’s 1.5% increase in per student state funding, but would have added another .5%, bringing total increase in state funding to 2%.
In exchange for that .5% this year, schools would have been required to pay for their share of sparse schools, technology and the state mandated assessments, with no guarantee of extra funding beyond the 1.5% in future years. This bill would have moved the responsibility for funding for those state mandates from the state, in this case, the SD Department of Education, to the Cutler Gabriel funding formula. In layman terms, that means the state would only fund those mandates at 53.8%. Local property taxpayers would be asked to pay 46.2% of those mandates.
If the state is going to mandate anything, the state needs to fully fund those mandates.
Rep. Jim Bolin brought an amendment to leave the mandated assessments, technology and sparse school funding with the state, while preserving the 2% increase in school funding. That amendment passed and HB 53 as amended passed through the House of Representatives, 66-2.
You can watch the debate on this amendment and bill below. Great points were made by Representatives Bolin, Schoenbeck, Stevens, May, Al Novstrup, Brunner, and Mickelson.
Rep. Cronin said he figured he could get the extra funding this bill requires from vo-tech schools. I think a better place to get the funding is from the SD Department of Education. It’s time to start cutting the budget of a department that is forcing unproven content standards and unproven assessments, with no validity studies and no reliability on every child in South Dakota.(Link)
This bill, as amended, now goes back to the Senate.
Thank-you Rep. Bolin for your diligence and bringing this amendment.