Senators Support Education Measure
By Travis Berg
The Senate passed a bill reducing state funding for education and placing more responsibility on local effort. S-B 152 is based off a formula used to equalize education funding between state and local levels. Local funding comes from property taxes, but the new equation leaves that out. South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Travis Berg reports.
Right now, state and local efforts have to be proportionate. If the state government reduces education funding the local government has to as well. This happens by lowering the property tax. S-B 152 allows the state to lower its amount of funding by ten percent, while letting local funding stay at the same level. The measure leaves property taxes harmless, while it adjusts the proportions of state and local funding. Republican Senator Larry Rhoden says the bill meets the governor's ten percent cut and it reduces the local cut to six percent. Democrat Senator Jason Frerichs says the bill is definitely equitable.
Frerichs says, "And this bill obviously makes it a little bit cautious for many of us, but it's definitely desperate times. We know our schools say that if it can drop to somewhere in that six percent range instead of ten. Again I applaud the efforts. I ask for you support of the amendment and the bill. Let's see this process continue to work."
Opponents say the bill is only a one time spending fix. They say the one time spending has long term implications. The measure was passed with a 28 to seven vote. It now goes to the house. For SDPB, I'm Travis Berg in Pierre.
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