HCS SS SCS SB 926 -- STATE SCHOOL AID
SPONSOR: Stoll (Scheve)
COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Education-Elementary and Secondary by a vote of 21 to 0.
This substitute requires that the eligible pupil count for line 14 at-risk funds in hold-harmless districts be recalculated, beginning with the 2000- 2001 school year, to exclude voluntary transfer students from the count in those districts and from the base year 1997-98 calculation. The total amount and amount per pupil will be recalculated, so that the hold-harmless payment option that provides additional funds for growth in the line 14 amount will be based on growth in the number of resident at-risk students. The 1999-2000 per-pupil amount in those districts will serve as the minimum until growth in the number of free and reduced price lunch-eligible pupils, used in calculating the line 14 amount, resident in the district catches up to the 1999-2000 amount. This will prevent these districts from having a drop-off in funding in the 2000-2001 school year.
In changes to the definitions relevant to state school aid, the substitute deletes the wording in the definition of operating levy for school purposes that had placed a 5-year limit on the use of the calculated levy in certain circumstances. Currently, the calculated levy, which is used in the funding formula to keep districts from losing state aid based on rollbacks required because of rising tax assessments, can be used for no more than 5 years after a district increases its levy above the calculated levy.
The substitute also corrects a "notch" in the line 14(b) calculation for districts with levies between $2.76 and $2.93, that currently do not get commensurate credit for their levy over the minimum levy.
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION CONTRACT STUDENTS
Districts that educate alternative education students by contract may count the students as resident pupils.
ERRONEOUS ESTIMATES OF AVERAGE DAILY ATTENDANCE
Certain districts that have overestimated their average daily attendance are permitted up to a 5-year payback period, with interest, for excess school aid based on the erroneous estimate. Francis Howell School District is the only district known to fit the conditions of the provision. This portion of the substitute has an emergency clause.
FISCAL NOTE: Cost to State School Moneys Fund of $2,000,000 to $2,200,000 in FY 2001, FY 2002, and FY 2003.
PROPONENTS: Supporters say that hold-harmless districts have been receiving the same amount of state aid per-pupil for the last 7 years. The hold- harmless districts understand the need for equity, as enacted by SB 380, and do not want to seek a solution to their problem at the expense of other districts.
Testifying for the bill were Senator Stoll; James Sucharski, superintendent of Bayless School District; David Glaser, chief financial officer of Rockwood School District; Dan Steska, superintendent of Cape Girardeau School District; St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association; Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis; and Missouri Council of School Administrators.
OPPONENTS: There was no opposition voiced to the committee.
Becky DeNeve, Senior Legislative Analyst