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Hearings On Fair School Funding Plan Highlight Long-Standing Problems

Spectrum News 1 |

With aid frozen and cuts made to deal with the impact of the pandemic, legislators and educators are working hard to help get the Fair School Funding bill passed by Dec. 31. Leaders from working groups had plenty to share in a House Finance Committee session. Topping the list — open enrollment for school choice programs, transportation and technology getting a good bit of attention. 

On the school choice front, education leaders say they want to eliminate friction between community schools and traditional public schools when it comes to funding. Right now, Substitute HB 305 proposes that districts losing students would have to give up the money assigned to educate students who leave, while those gaining students would receive those dollars. 

Also on the list of concerns is how to help students to excel and become competitive in the world of technology while closing the tech equity gap when funding has never been allocated for technology.

And lastly, with levies failing on ballots this year and in previous years, many districts have struggled with just getting kids to school. The goal now is to restore transportation back to 50 percent and make it a separate line item so it’s not impacted by cuts.