In today’s Public Education Appropriation Committee the State Board of Education presented their funding recommendations for the coming year. The most discussed item was the State Board’s recommendation to not provide another year of charter funding on the Oct.1 system, but immediately move charters to ADM funding. As the Education Funding Task Force has analyzed over the past year, this would create a $5.5+ million loss in charter funding, given current operations. There is an expectation on the part of the USOE and Board that this loss will be substantially mitigated by charters continuing to accept charter students year-round, not just focusing on their Oct. 1 student count. The State Board also recommended the previously proposed change to the LRF (Local Replacement Funding) that would increase overall funding to charters by $2.8 million.
This proposal to eliminate the Oct. 1 funding for charters took many by surprise and several committee members questioned the significance of such a policy change. Additionally, committee members, including Representatives Powell and Last also questioned the LRF funding change and suggested that this increase is by no means assured in the current legislature. This will obviously be an item of significant debate going forward with Rep. Poulson suggesting this change should be run as a bill to allow for more significant discussion and specifically floor debate in the House and Senate.
Erin Preston, Esq.