Student Opportunity Gaps

School Facilities Financing Moves Forward

By March 17, 2013 No Comments

The House Education Finance committee reviewed two bills last week that would assist schools in paying for building maintenance.

HF 825 was amended so that the Safe Schools levy could be used to pay for upgrades needed to make buildings more secure. Unfortunately, the bill does not raise the amount that can be levied which currently is $30 per pupil.

HF 1111 would merge Health & Safety and Deferred Maintenance into a new Facilities Revenue program for districts that don’t qualify for Alternative Bonding Authority. HF 1111 was amended to correct a not so minor drafting error in Section 5, Subd 2. The language should have read and now does read that a districts’ facilities revenue is the greater of $230 per pupil.

The proposal also eliminates the need to get MDE approval of facilities projects used with this revenue. The proposal is one part of the MDE Education Finance Reform task force report recommendations.

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