MREA will send out one or two supplemental e-updates this week to outline the funding components in each omnibus bill. MREA expects all day K to be a major provision in each bill. Beyond that, we have heard mixed messages about money on the formula versus special education. The House budget target of $550 million allows Chairman Marquart to do more than Chairman Wiger can do with his $336 million.
The Senate will have a provision buying down school levies because the Senate Tax committee gave them a $150 million property tax relief target. SF 177 (Sen. Skoe Education Advancement Revenue) could be the vehicle for this. However, SF 1142 (Stumpf General Education Levy) is a competing option. MREA supports SF 177 as it increases equalization while giving boards the authority to convert referendum authority into a board approved levy up to $300/pupil. For districts with no referendum authority, SF 177 would give them an option for new revenue. This doesn’t exist in SF 1142.
The House bill will contain a small portion of equalization in order to offset a $30 million reinstatement of the Integration Levy, which was sunset in the last budget cycle. The metro districts are pushing hard for this levy reinstatement and several rural districts currently utilize this levy as well.