Tue., Aug. 30, 2016
Last year, an average of $720 per student in Idaho came from voter-approved supplemental levies
As the Legislature’s Public School Funding Formula Committee opened its meeting today, Tim Hill of the Idaho State Department of Education shared stats on supplemental levies approved by voters in school districts around the state – essentially voluntary local property tax increases that voters pass to help fund local schools. Hill presented a report showing the funding per student from supplemental levies in each district in the state in the just-completed year. “There’s quite a spectrum, anywhere from zero to several thousands of dollars,” Hill said. “The statewide average was $720.49.”
State Board of Education member Linda Clark, who had requested the report, said, “I just thought it was important for the committee to have the information, as we look at the whole scheme of funding. It’s exactly what I requested. Thank you, Mr. Hill.”
Committee Co-Chair Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, said she and Senate Co-Chair Chuck Winder, R-Boise, held a workshop meeting during the Idaho Association of School Administrators’ annual convention. “We had excellent conversations with superintendents from all around the state and other administrators,” Horman reported. “We received some excellent feedback and commentary.” She said the two will share that with the committee at a future meeting, once it’s compiled.
The panel is tasked with exploring updates to the state’s school funding formula, which hasn’t been updated since 1994. It’s a big topic affecting millions of dollars, and how the state parcels out the funds to school districts large and small.
The committee will take public testimony today at 1:15 p.m.; it’s meeting in the Lincoln Auditorium. You can watch live here. It’s also working on a survey of school administrators, teachers, parents, board members, citizens and others; the 28-question survey is scheduled to be conducted in the second half of September.