The commissioner of education, as directed by the 2013 Legislature, must convene a working group to develop recommendations for reforming the financing of prekindergarten through grade 12 education facilities to create adequate, equitable, and sustainable financing of public school facilities throughout the state. The scope of the working group recommendations must include funding options for facilities projects currently financed with debt service, alternative facilities, deferred maintenance, health and safety, building lease, and operating capital revenues.
The commissioner, on behalf of the working group, must submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees and divisions with primary jurisdiction over kindergarten through grade 12 education finance by February 1, 2014, recommending how best to allocate funds for school facilities.
Sam Walseth, MREA Contract Lobbyist covered the first meeting of the working group. He described the current large inequities in school maintenance funding.