McCleary still leaves us with holes, that is why we will still need levies and/or bonds to fund:
- 100% of the cost to meet special education students’ educational needs
- (Sped staffing is funded partially by the Federal Government. The District makes up the difference to assure our Federal employees have equitable pay with our State funded employees.)
- Honoring existing local agreements made in good faith with school staff
- The full cost to transport students safely to and from school
- Building new classrooms to reduce class size or comply with full-day kindergarten requirements
- Technology students must use to become responsible, successful, productive citizens of tomorrow
- Teacher training days
- Other [Replacing and repairing buildings, adding security enhancements)
School funding is a work in progress. In July, state legislators increased state property taxes with the intent of lowering local school taxes, not eliminating local school taxes. It’s a good concept and a step in the right direction. But not perfect. Two reasons:
- The funding formulas in the new law create uneven gaps in how much different districts can ask voters to approve. This means some districts can ask voters for more money per student than others. Once again, this is not an equitable solution for all students and districts in the state.
- The state money must be spent in very specific ways. Those restrictions eliminate much of our local control for programs our community wants in schools.
Q: The November ballot asked whether I approved the new state property tax. What does that mean for school funding?
A: Advisory Vote Number 18 was just that – an “advisory” vote. In July, legislators increased state property taxes for schools. They intended this action to lower local school taxes. The “property tax shift” is one way the legislature hoped to meet the Supreme Court’s order to amply fund public schools. Instead of paying a local levy, that money would “shift” to the State.
State school funding is a work in progress. The Legislature will continue working on solutions, and this Advisory Vote is a way to hear from the public about their work. The results of Advisory Votes are not binding.