House Approps. Considers 2% Increase in Per-Student K-12 Funding

The 2% increase in K-12 funding is up for a vote in House Appropriations this morning. Senate Bill 53 would increase the per-student allocation from $4,781.14 to $4,876.76. That’s $95.62 more per child.

Senate Bill 53 gets a quarter of that increase from Governor Dennis Daugaard’s budget trick of shifting about half of the cost of school technology, statewide standardized tests, and the sparsity factor (the boost to the per student allocation for schools in low-population, large-area school districts) to local districts. That means Sioux Falls School District taxpayers will pay a little more than they would have under the previous school funding formula to cover extra school costs out in Faith and Harding County. Perhaps luckily for Faith and Harding County, there’s only one Sioux Falls guy, Rep. Alex Jensen (R-13) on House Appropriations.

Whatever budget tricks House Appropriations plays to get that 2% increase, keep in mind that the proposed PSA for FY 2016 is only 1.5% higher than the previous peak of $4,805 back in FY 2011. Without opt-outs or budget cuts in other areas, South Dakota schools will only be able to pay teachers wages that match what they got five years ago.

6 Responses to House Approps. Considers 2% Increase in Per-Student K-12 Funding

  1. It’s also a slick way for DD to pull more revenue from local district taxpayers to pay for education, so that the state may continue its trend, under his leadership, to weaken its commitment to schools.

  2. Paul Seamans

    I don’t quite understand the specifics of the deal and how small schools will be affected by a change in the sparsity factor. Last that I knew small schools like my county of Jones received the maximum of $600 per student for the sparsity factor. Jones County has around 130 students in K-12. Even if we lose half of that it still comes to $390,000. I doubt that an opt out would pass for that amount. I still believe that the long term plan of the legislature/governor is to financially force these small schools to consolidate.

  3. What Sen. ven Gerpen said at our Cracker barrel said the revenue looks to fall short and funding for education will fall short of the 2%

  4. so you think he wants to consolidate school give that guy a cigar. this governor could fund it but he refuses to do whats right for our kids . i am very thankful my kids got good jobs out of state if it wasnt for the republicans they would be working 7.50 jobs stuck here in do nothing land.

  5. Anyone care to wager that they address roads and bridges and leave schools with a lovely ‘blue-ribbon panel’ to meet their needs?

  6. Paul, it confuses me, too, but if I understand correctly, your school will still receive the same amount for its sparsity factor; it’s just that instead of the state shouldering the full amount of that adjustment, 47% of that amount will be factored into local effort.