School Funding | VideoKristin Clouston | 3/12/2013
The 41 page bill covers everything from statewide kindergarten to teacher salaries, and also changes the state funding formula for school districts. That was the section where most changes were made in the house.
"When you make a transition from our existing formula to one that has significant differences, it`s very important that we make sure no district is suddenly negatively affected and creates a sudden disruption in their funding flow," said Governor Jack Dalrymple.
The bill will need at least one revision
:It created an issue where reservation districts received deductions because of assumed dollars," Dalrymple said.
He says that problem is fixable, but with a bill this size, there could be others. The new formula does include costs for districts affected by oil.
"But it does not allow for any added costs for educating students that are spread over a large area?" asked North Border Superintendent Dr. Paul Stremick.
Superintendents say just like in the old formula, property is equalized
"I ask, `Why?` Please keep in mind equality should not be synonymous with equity. Equality means everyone is treated the same, equity means everyone is treated fairly," Stremick said.
There is concern the new formula would give spread out districts less tax relief than others and could possibly cost them more money in the long run.
Both the Education and Finance and Tax Committees will discuss the bill separately before making any recommendations.