A for adequate, F for funding.Providing equity and adequacy in school funding formulas has legislatures struggling.
There's nothing more difficult for a legislature than rewriting re·write
v. re·wrote , re·writ·ten , re·writ·ing, re·writes
1. To write again, especially in a different or improved form; revise.
2. the way it pays for education. "We thought reapportionment reapportionment: see legislative apportionment. was bad - this is worse," says Wyoming Speaker Pro Tern Peg Shreve, whose state is in Round 2 of a court-ordered school finance fight this session.
In Wyoming and other states around the country, the battle lines Battle Lines may refer to:
There's a lot of money at stake in any battle over school funding. Nationwide, schools cost some $200 billion a year to operate. States provide about half of that, local districts 44 percent and the federal government about 6 percent. It's the local share - most often coming from property taxes - that causes the most disparities between school districts. Districts with wealthy homeowners simply raise more money than districts with poorer taxpayers. Only the legislature can fix that.
Legislatures in 14 states are currently rewriting their school funding systems a system or scheme of finance or revenue by which provision is made for paying the interest or principal of a public debt.
See also: Funding all responding to court rulings that their present systems are unconstitutional unconstitutional adj. referring to a statute, governmental conduct, court decision or private contract (such as a covenant which purports to limit transfer of real property only to Caucasians) which violate one or more provisions of the U. S. Constitution. . The business of changing how states fund schools is a major undertaking for legislatures and can dominate a session's agenda. And changing the way a state supports education forces legislators to confront some tough political issues they would probably rather avoid, such as tax increases, state tradition of local control of education and redistributing money from wealthy to poorer districts.
Assistant House Majority Leader Carolyn Oakley served on the House Education Committee when Oregon was in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of major property tax reform in 1990. She believes the voter initiative process was the only way Oregon could address property tax reform. The divisiveness of term limits and partisanship par·ti·san 1
1. A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
2. make the legislature ill-suited for devising good solutions to issues such as property tax reform and school funding, she says. "Term limits have created a lack of allegiance between legislators - everyone is out for themselves." School finance issues seem to exacerbate this divisiveness because of the pressure local school districts put on their individual legislators.
"There are 132 different people in the legislature and 132 different agendas for local school systems. It makes finding a solution very difficult," says Ohio Senate The Ohio Senate is the upper house in Ohio's bicameral legislature, the Ohio General Assembly; the lower house is the Ohio House of Representatives. Both were established in the state constitution of 1851. The 127th General Assembly convened in January 2007. President Richard Finan, whose state is in the middle of court-ordered reform. Much of the difficulty comes from a Pandora's box Pandora’s box
contained all evils; opened up, evils escape to afflict world. [Rom. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 799]
See : Evil effect. "School funding debates put everything on the table," he says. "Is more money really the solution? Can other reforms solve the problem? Should vouchers be considered? Is the problem really money, or is the problem the schools?"
Legislatures need not wait for courts to strike down school funding formulas before they redesign re·de·sign
tr.v. re·de·signed, re·de·sign·ing, re·de·signs
To make a revision in the appearance or function of.
re them. Although few legislatures voluntarily enter the fray fray 1
1. A scuffle; a brawl. See Synonyms at brawl.
2. A heated dispute or contest.
tr.v. frayed, fray·ing, frays Archaic
1. To alarm; frighten.
2. , many respond to the threat of court action and attempt to ward off an actual judgment. It's not that lawmakers don't believe a problem exists, but responding to these issues is agonizingly difficult. The process of rewriting formulas is fought by organized and emotional interest groups and fraught fraught
1. Filled with a specified element or elements; charged: an incident fraught with danger; an evening fraught with high drama.
2. with winners and losers. And even when a court determines a funding system is unconstitutional, it rarely offers guidance on how states should get from point A to B - only the directive that they do so.
This year, five states are in the spotlight with school finance issues. Ohio, Wyoming and New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E). are struggling to respond to court orders. Vermont has just dramatically reformed its state tax structure in response to a court decision. Illinois continues to wage a long and hard-fought battle not only to reshape how education is funded, but to enact some significant education reforms as well.
WHAT'S AN "ADEQUATE" EDUCATION?
School finance litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. in the past decade has largely been driven by equity - the gap between what rich and poor schools have to spend on students. The equity issue is tied to the pervasive use of property taxes to fund education. And it is assumed that more money means better schools and a better education. In recent years, however, "adequacy" of money has joined equity issues. Adequacy gets at whether the amount of school funding for each student is sufficient to produce a good education.
Enter Wyoming and Ohio who have taken innovative, but different, approaches to defining adequacy and attaching a price tag.
In 1995, the Wyoming Supreme Court The Wyoming Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The Court consists of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices. Each Justice is appointed by the Governor of Wyoming for an eight-year term. ordered the state to eliminate spending disparities among its 49 school districts. Spending differences were significant largely due to the high cost of delivering education in rural schools. The court required the Legislature to identify the elements of a proper education, define an "adequate" education and determine what that would cost. The Legislature would then be required to provide money for schools at this level and equalize e·qual·ize
v. e·qual·ized, e·qual·iz·ing, e·qual·iz·es
1. To make equal: equalized the responsibilities of the staff members.
2. To make uniform. funding throughout the state.
In approaching the task, the Legislature started with a "market basket market basket
1. A grocery cart.
2. A group of products or services in a specific market, especially when considered in terms of its fluctuating cost in determining a consumer price index: " of all the goods and services In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility (unless the "good" is a "bad"). It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax. necessary for an adequate education. Once it agreed on the market basket, costs could be attached to each item and an overall cost determined.
An interim committee conducted hearings throughout the summer and determined that the basket of educational goods and services should be a common core of knowledge and skills defined by the state board of education. Included are student performance standards, mandatory statewide graduation requirements, a statewide assessment, free and accessible kindergarten kindergarten [Ger.,=garden of children], system of preschool education. Friedrich Froebel designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be programs, a maximum districtwide class size of no more than 20 students to a teacher and extension of the school year to 180 days.
A consulting firm Noun 1. consulting firm - a firm of experts providing professional advice to an organization for a fee
business firm, firm, house - the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments; "he worked for a was hired to figure the cost. The state department is now working to supply the necessary information and data. Estimates for required new money to finance the plan range between $49 million and $82 million. Debate is under way on whether to raise property taxes or initiate an income taxes as the best source for that new revenue. (A half percent to raise property taxes or initiate an income tax sales tax sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. increase was narrowly defeated last year.)
The Legislature is fine-tuning the plan this session. Meanwhile, another lawsuit has been filed challenging the proposed finance plan. Even though plans to address the inequities are continuing, the school districts say they are tired of waiting. Four districts involved in the original lawsuit, along with several small and intermediate school districts and the Wyoming Education Association have filed the case, arguing that the state failed to implement a new plan by the court's July 1, 1997, deadline. The Wyoming district court recently detailed 30 technical points in the legislative plan that need to be clarified or changed by a new deadline of April 1998. The court said the Legislature did not address certain factors - such as salary adjustments for school personnel. Representative Shreve says the Legislature never intended to address many of the issues now questioned by the court and she expects the litigation to dominate this year's session.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Shreve, the Wyoming court has significantly overstepped its bounds. It took three years to hand down a ruling, but gave the Legislature only 18 months to totally reshape its education funding system. By insisting that the Legislature look at issues it didn't want to address, the court, according to Shreve, is "legislating leg·is·late
v. leg·is·lat·ed, leg·is·lat·ing, leg·is·lates
To create or pass laws.
To create or bring about by or as if by legislation. ." She points to the nearly $500,000 in litigation costs the state has already spent and the additional $500,000 that the case may still cost, as well as the vast amount being spent by the district plaintiffs. This is money that could have gone to educate kids.
"The really frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: thing," she says, "is that everybody lost sight of what this is all about - it's really about children. Instead, it's become all about money."
Ohio's school finance system also has been in court for a long time. Four years ago, a common pleas Trial-level courts of general jurisdiction. One of the royal common-law courts in England existing since the beginning of the thirteenth century and developing from the Curia Regis, or the King's Court. court ruled the system unconstitutional based on the state's failure to close the gap between spending by rich and poor districts and the violation of a child's "fundamental right" to an education. The court implied that the state needed to end its reliance on local property taxes as the primary funding source for public schools. That decision was overruled by an appellate court A court having jurisdiction to review decisions of a trial-level or other lower court.
An unsuccessful party in a lawsuit must file an appeal with an appellate court in order to have the decision reviewed. in August 1995 because of numerous "assignments of errors" within the lower court decision. Then in March 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed af·firm
v. af·firmed, af·firm·ing, af·firms
1. To declare positively or firmly; maintain to be true.
2. To support or uphold the validity of; confirm.
v.intr. the system's unconstitutionality. The state had to address two issues: defining an "adequate" education and determining the cost, and then finding the money to pay for education at this new level.
Since the Supreme Court decision, Ohio has been scrambling See scramble. to address the mandate. Governor George Voinovich George Victor Voinovich (born July 15, 1936) is the senior United States Senator from the state of Ohio, and a member of the Republican Party. Previously, he served as the 65th Governor of Ohio from 1991 to 1998, and as the 54th mayor of Cleveland from 1980 to 1989. appointed a task force that included four legislators and the chief state school officer. In about two months, the task force put a proposal together describing where the money would come from and how it would be distributed. School finance consultant John Augenblick worked with the state to define and price an adequate education. The task force estimated an additional $1.5 billion would be needed to support the new formula, establishing a $4,269 per pupil base.
By early February, lawmakers had passed a $5.24 billion school appropriation The designation by the government or an individual of the use to which a fund of money is to be applied. The selection and setting apart of privately owned land by the government for public use, such as a military reservation or public building. bill for FY 1999, but no way to help pay for the increases it contains. After a failed attempt to get a half-cent sales tax increase before voters in the May primary, Speaker Jo Ann Davidson invoked a 147-year-old provision of the Ohio Constitution The Ohio Constitution is the basic governing document of the State of Ohio, which in 1803 became the 17th state to join the United States of America. Ohio has had four constitutions since statehood was granted. and pushed through a one-cent hike on Feb. 11. The $1 billion this will raise is earmarked half for schools and half for property tax relief. Davidson relied on the never-before-tested provision that allows education-related measures to pass with a simple majority instead of the three-fifths majority normally required to put an issue on the ballot. At press time, the Senate was expected to pass the measure, and voters will have the final say in May. If the public defeats the proposal, most legislators and Governor Voinovich say the newly passed state school-aid package will be underfunded un·der·fund
tr.v. un·der·fund·ed, un·der·fund·ing, un·der·funds
To provide insufficient funding for.
underfunded adj → infradotado (económicamente) starting in 2001.
WHOLE SCALE TAX REFORM,
Vermont moved quickly to enact a new school finance formula following a February 1997 ruling by the state Supreme Court. The legislature approved major reform in the final days of its session. Act 60 of 1997 set a statewide property tax and added state equalization In communications, techniques used to reduce distortion and compensate for signal loss (attenuation) over long distances. of local revenues.
Vermont had debated tax reform for a number of years, but school finance litigation was the impetus for change. Equalization of spending by the state has a "Robin Hood Robin Hood, legendary hero of 12th-century England who robbed the rich to help the poor. Chivalrous, manly, fair, and always ready for a joke, Robin Hood reflected many of the ideals of the English yeoman. " effect - shifting tax revenues from wealthier districts to poorer communities. In 200 Vermont towns, property taxes will drop; however, in 40 wealthy towns, property taxes will rise, but school budgets will likely shrink.
The General Assembly created a uniform statewide school tax of $1.10 per $100 in property value. The state property tax is "income sensitive" - taxpayers with incomes below $75,000 will not pay more than 2 percent of their incomes for the tax, although they may pay more in local school property taxes.
What that means is that a taxpayer in an exclusive neighborhood who earns $100,000 and lives in a $200,000 house would pay $2,200 for the statewide school tax. A taxpayer with a $40,000 income, living in a $100,000 house would pay $800 instead of $1,100. This statewide tax forms a pot that is divided among the states' 251 school districts in the form of per-pupil block grants. The individual school districts could still levy their own voted-on property taxes and that would vary from town to town.
The 1997 law (Act 60) also set a state minimum of $5,000 that would be spent to educate each school child. Many communities already spend more than that per pupil and at a lower tax rate. A more wealthy community with a lot of commercial property, for example, could be spending $9,000 per pupil with a school tax of just 71 cents per $100 of property value. Under Act 60, if such a town wanted to continue raising enough local taxes to spend more than the statewide per-pupil minimum, it must share the additional revenue it raises with other towns via a statewide equalized yield fund.
A number of legislators are still uncomfortable with Act 60 and would like to reopen re·o·pen
tr. & intr.v. re·o·pened, re·o·pen·ing, re·o·pens
1. To open or be opened again: Officials reopened the airport after the snow was cleared. Schools reopen in September. debate about the statewide property tax and the tax sharing that is the centerpiece of the law. One alternative is a gross receipts tax A gross receipts tax, sometimes referred to as a gross excise tax, is a tax on the total gross revenues of a company, regardless of their source. It is similar to a sales tax, but it is levied on the seller of goods or services rather than the consumer. , essentially a sales tax on every transaction in the economy, to be used for the per-pupil block grants.
THE GREAT COMPROMISE
The Illinois General Assembly The Illinois General Assembly is the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States, created by the first constitution adopted in 1818. It works beside the executive branch led by the state governor and the judicial branch led by the supreme ended its last session on a sour note. GOP Governor Jim Edgar James Edgar (born July 22, 1946, Vinita, Oklahoma) is an American politician who was the Governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1999.
Edgar was born in Vinita, Oklahoma and was raised in Charleston, Illinois. had campaigned vigorously for a sweeping $1.6 billion plan to shift the burden of paying for schools from local property taxes to a statewide income tax and the House approved the measure. But as the bill stood poised to pass the Senate, Republican leaders took issue with the plan, calling it "the highest tax increase in state history." The measure stalled in committee, and the Senate refused to schedule a vote. It appeared to most in Springfield that the time for radical school finance reform had come and gone.
What a difference six months and a special session can make. In early December, the General Assembly enacted a new state aid formula that includes, for the first time, a continuing appropriation to "guarantee" the level of funding. Rooted in a foundation formula that will increase the base level of funding each year between 1997-98 and 2000-01, the new plan also contains numerous academic reforms, a bond program for school construction and increases in cigarette, message, and failure to pay, taxes.
The Illinois case is an unusual example of reform not ordered by a court. Three times since 1973, the courts have upheld the state's funding system. But Governor Jim Edgar, in his last term, has pledged to make some changes.
Those who have watched Illinois school funding over the years, know that the new plan doesn't represent a fundamental shift as the governor's original plan would have. However, the final compromise was supported by a rare coalition of the governor, Chicago public schools Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians, is a school district that controls over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois. chief Paul Vallas Paul G. Vallas is the new superintendent of the Recovery School District of New Orleans in Louisiana.
He first gained fame as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). , Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Richard Daley may refer to:
"I think we lost a great opportunity to fundamentally change the system of financing public education. It will be very difficult to find someone to take that challenge again," laments Speaker Michael Madigan Michael J. Madigan (born April 19, 1942) is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 22nd district since 1971. He is currently Speaker of the House and Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. .
NEW CASE HAS INTERESTING IMPLICATIONS
The New Hampshire Supreme Court The New Hampshire Supreme Court is the supreme court of the U. S. state of New Hampshire and sole appellate court of the state. The Supreme Court is seated in the state capital, Concord. issued its ruling in Claremont vs. Governor, the states' most recent school finance case, Dec. 17, 1997. The court said that the state's system of paying for public education with local property taxes was unconstitutional because it created widely unequal tax burdens.
The case is significant for two reasons. First, because the Granite State historically has contributed the least of any of the states to K-12 education (averaging about 8 percent of all revenue for schools) - it relies on local property taxes for 90 percent of school funding. Second, because New Hampshire is one of only two states that has no sales or income tax, trying to design a new school finance system without additional taxing sources will be difficult and potentially explosive in a state that cherishes its current tax system - or lack thereof. Recognizing the complexity of creating a new plan, the court said the current funding system could stay in place for a year.
The Senate has created a select committee to examine state options and the House is looking at how other states have dealt with the issue. Governor Jeanne state sales or income tax, and is pushing a 23cent cigarette tax increase. Some observers worry that the approaching election will make it difficult to adopt a solution, although technically the state need not respond formally to the court order until next December.
However, Speaker Donna Sytek says the legislature must tackle the issue before the elections. "As a practical matter we have to do it this session. A new plan has to be in place in time to get the tax apparatus in place. Communities get their budgets together in August so we really have to get this done before we adjourn adjourn v. the final closing of a meeting, such as a convention, a meeting of the board of directors, or any official gathering. It should not be confused with a recess, meaning the meeting will break and then continue at a later time. (See: recess, session) ."
NEVER EASY, NEVER QUICK
The experiences of these five states speak to the complexity of school funding issues and the difficulties of settling them in a political environment. While a few states have addressed per-pupil disparities before court rulings were handed down, most have been pushed by "judicial intrusion." Once a case has been filed, it takes about four years to get a final ruling by a state appellate Relating to appeals; reviews by superior courts of decisions of inferior courts or administrative agencies and other proceedings. or supreme court. State courts only respond to cases that are brought to their attention by citizens and school districts that claim they have exhausted all other means of redress Compensation for injuries sustained; recovery or restitution for harm or injury; damages or equitable relief. Access to the courts to gain Reparation for a wrong.
REDRESS. The act of receiving satisfaction for an injury sustained. .
If legislatures want to ensure that their imprint im·print
tr.v. im·print·ed, im·print·ing, im·prints
1. To produce (a mark or pattern) on a surface by pressure.
2. To produce a mark on (a surface) by pressure.
3. - rather than the imprint of the courts - is left on state school funding plans, they should consider moving more quickly to address issues of equity and adequacy. Finance consultant Augenblick says legislatures can be much better prepared.
"What we hope legislatures do is what some states like Kentucky, Louisiana and Nebraska are already doing: have in place a committee or procedure to evaluate the system on an ongoing basis - so you always know where you stand," he says. Such committees have no authority to make policy changes, but can constantly collect information, evaluate progress and inform legislatures about potential problems. The information also can serve as an important basis for evaluating responses to potential or actual legal action.
Most experts do not anticipate that the 25-year record of litigation over state school finance systems will end soon. Wide disparities still remain in most states and will likely continue - even in states that have addressed court suits. Most recently, in January, several districts in Colorado filed suit against the state on the issue of the adequacy of school facilities in small rural districts. In an election year, this will be yet another interesting case to watch.
RELATED ARTICLE: BALLOT QUESTIONS DICTATE SCHOOL FUNDING
The courts are not the only outside force pushing legislators. Some changes have been initiated by voters. And, in some instances, this has wreaked havoc on the state education system.
Measure 5 passed by Oregon voters in 1990 came in the midst of a national mood of property tax revolt A tax revolt is a political struggle to repeal, limit, or roll back a government-imposed tax.
In the United States, it is often used to refer to a series of anti-tax state initiative campaigns. The first significant wave of these campaigns was during the 1930s. . The initiative was aimed at lowering property taxes - as opposed to specifically responding to school funding issues - but all knew there would be significant consequences for schools.
The measure shifted the share of support for K-12 education from local to state sources and caused a serious shortage of funds for Oregon's higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. system.
"It came at a time when corrections and Medicaid were consuming our budget, so the money had to come out of higher education," says Representative Carolyn Oakley, who chaired the House Education Committee in 1991 and remembers the pressure in the legislature in the aftermath of Measure 5. Oregon voters were not quite done with property tax reform. While Measure 5 limited property tax rates, voters also approved limits on property valuations in 1996. Measure 47 cut taxes on each property in the state and limited future growth to 3 percent per year. Once again, the Legislative Assembly was called upon to make up the lost school funding, which dropped about 20 percent.
Today, Oregon's economy is strong - $800 million went back to taxpayers last year. And higher education's share of the budget is steadily growing.
No state has a history of the use of ballot initiatives to resolve public policy issues like California's. The state's ballots are routinely the longest and most complicated in the country. Much of the California education funding system is the result of voter involvement.
Two particular initiatives have become well known because of the great difficulty they imposed on the Legislature and the chaos they created for the state economy and education. California voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978, limiting property taxes and the ability of local governments to raise revenue. The initiative produced an immediate $7 billion loss in state revenue and placed restrictions on the Legislature that ultimately kept it from dealing with the declining state economy.
To respond to Prop 13, lawmakers were forced to draw heavily on other budget items to make up the shortfall. Schools became more equal in per pupil spending, but generally poorer in terms of total spending per district. Local residents were barred from raising money for schools outside the tax limit. In the five years following Prop 13, California's national ranking in school spending dropped from 15th to 30th while class sizes increased.
The next year, voters passed the Gann Amendment (Proposition 4), which limited the amount of tax money governments can spend and requires a rebate rebate, partial refund of the total price paid for goods or services. In the United States, rebates were historically given by railroads to favored shippers as a return on transportation charges. of tax revenues to taxpayers in excess of that limit. In large part, the measure was a response to the problems created by Proposition 13. But the timing was bad - the national recession of the 1980s brought severe economic pressures to California and lawmakers' hands were tied by the additional restrictions. The California economy was pushed into turmoil.
In 1988, spending on schools was still relatively low, and voters responded with Proposition 98. The goal of the "School Funding for Instructional Improvement and Accountability initiative" was to improve the overall quality of California's public schools and community colleges by preventing future budget cuts. With its passage, California became the first state to guarantee in its constitution that 40 percent of the budget be used for education. Again, the Legislature was left to figure out how to interpret and implement this initiative. Prop 98 forced lawmakers to work with a fixed expenditure for education and a revenue shortfall. As a result, all services were cut.
Only recently has the California economy begun to recover, enabling the Legislature to finally put more money into K-12 education.
RELATED ARTICLE: A FORMULA FOR OHIO
Education finance consultant John Augenblick helped the Ohio task force devise an intriguing in·trigue
a. A secret or underhand scheme; a plot.
b. The practice of or involvement in such schemes.
2. A clandestine love affair.
v. method for figuring the cost of an adequate education.
He began with the assumption that if Ohio could set education standards, there ought to be schools and districts that are meeting those standards. And if those schools and districts could meet standards, all schools ought to be able to meet them.
In approaching the question of funding he first identified a "base" amount - that is, the money left when you take away funding for such things as special education and transportation. This yielded 611 different numbers - one for every district. The consultant then threw out any unusual or abnormal districts - for example, those with particularly high property wealth or low family income. This left approximately 500 districts."
Augenblick then began to link spending to outcomes, but added information about how well districts did on specific state objectives. these included a passage rate of 75 percent on fourth grade and ninth grade proficiency tests See aptitude tests. , 85 percent on 10th grade proficiency tests and 60 percent on 12th grade tests. Other criteria included a drop-out rate of 3 percent or less and an attendance rate of at least 93 percent. The analysis indicated that 122 districts had met 17 of these 18 measures - or were doing a good job meeting state standards with current funding. Again, Augenblick eliminated those 5 percent to 10 percent at the top and bottom of the list.
This left 102 districts characterized as usual, not high or low spending, and meeting 17 of 18 output objectives. Augenblick took the average spending of these districts - $4,269 - as the base. Each district's spending was calculated using this base and multiplying a "cost of doing business" factor that was between 1 and 1.48. This factor takes into consideration basic costs to serve gifted and talented students, those enrolled in vocational programs Noun 1. vocational program - a program of vocational education
educational program - a program for providing education , special education students and students from low income families.
The legislature approved in February an increase in per pupil spending to $3,851 for 1998-99 and to $4,414 in four years. Ohio now guarantees $3,663 per pupil.
RELATED ARTICLE: THE VERMONT PLAN:
* Equalizes all towns' ability to pay for schools.
* Bases school taxes on income rather than property for most Vermonters.
* Reduces nonhomestead school property taxes.
* Makes equal educational opportunity a fundamental right for all children and develops standards for student performance.
* Requires annual reports on state-wide and local school performance.
* Provides payments in lieu of Instead of; in place of; in substitution of. It does not mean in addition to. taxes to towns with state-owned property.
* Reduces school taxes for most Vermonters by increasing the share paid by the state from gasoline gasoline or petrol, light, volatile mixture of hydrocarbons for use in the internal-combustion engine and as an organic solvent, obtained primarily by fractional distillation and "cracking" of petroleum, but also obtained from natural gas, by , bank franchise, corporate income, room and meals, telecommunications Communicating information, including data, text, pictures, voice and video over long distance. See communications. sales, purchase and use taxes, and securities registration fees.
RELATED ARTICLE: SCHOOL FACILITIES: BUILDING A STATE ROLE
Lawmakers have started to look at the state's role in providing local school districts with funds for needed new construction and for maintenance and upkeep of existing school facilities.
Although local school districts are the primary funders of capital outlay capital outlay
See capital expenditure. and resulting debt service, many states place limits on local funding. Some limit property valuations to keep down taxes and some require super majorities for voter approval to issue bonds, making it hard for school districts to get the necessary approval.
A handful of states use a school construction fund that provides districts with low-interest loans. Coupled with state grants, usually made to only the most needy need·y
adj. need·i·er, need·i·est
1. Being in need; impoverished. See Synonyms at poor.
2. Wanting or needing affection, attention, or reassurance, especially to an excessive degree. districts, this approach can be used by states that want to assist with capital outlay, but in a limited way. Other methods states use to finance capital outlay include:
* Funding facilities through the basic support program or school finance formula. Each pupil is guaranteed a set amount determined by formula.
* Issuing bonds to pay for school construction, then leasing facilities to districts at a minimal rate. (In California it's $1 a year for 40 years.)
* Granting a percentage of equalization based on district wealth.
* Providing flat grants. Indiana provides $40 per pupil, and districts can apply for low-interest loans through the Common School Fund.
* Granting full funding. In Hawaii, all capital projects must be approved by the Legislature and are funded entirely by state tax revenue.
* Entering lease purchase agreements with individual school districts.
* Selling a certain amount of general obligation bonds and earmarking It has been suggested that some sections of this article be split into a new article entitled Earmark (USA). a percentage of lottery proceeds to pay interest on the debt.
* Assessing municipal impact fees on developers to cover the effect of new subdivisions on the adjoining school district.
RECENT LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY
In 1996, North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. voters approved by an overwhelming majority (73 percent) a $1.8 billion state bond proposal for public school capital improvements. The measure had previously been approved by the legislature as part of a recommendation by the School Construction Interim Committee.
Arizona remains the only state that has been sued successfully by a group of school districts solely on the inequities resulting from school district capital funding. So far, two plans passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor have been turned down by the courts. The Legislature has until the end of June to have another plan in place or the court will freeze state aid to schools.
Faced with a $3.3 billion price tag to meet the governor's Commission on Education's estimate of the state's school repair and construction needs, Florida lawmakers were called into a November special session on school overcrowding overcrowding
overcrowding of animal accommodation. Many countries now publish codes of practice which define what the appropriate volumetric allowances should be for each species of animal when they are housed indoors. Breaches of these codes is overcrowding. . After a week, leaders of the House and Senate brokered an agreement to spend $2.7 billion in borrowed funds to build schools over the next five years.
The plan includes using $180 million in lottery revenues over 30 years as collateral to borrow up to $2.5 billion in school construction bonds, a one-time-only funding infusion of $200 million and two grant programs totaling $600 million. To replace lottery money going to school construction, the state will boost overall school funding by $180 million each fiscal year for 30 years.
Georgia voters in 1996 approved by a razor thin 51-49 ratio a 1-cent local sales tax for education. Although the enabling legislation Noun 1. enabling legislation - legislation that gives appropriate officials the authority to implement or enforce the law
legislation, statute law - law enacted by a legislative body does not require that proceeds be earmarked for school construction, districts can use the money for that purpose.
Last year, the Texas Legislature The Texas Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. The legislature meets at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. In Texas, the Legislature is considered the most powerful branch of state government because of its aggressive use of the power of the purse to approved a new $200 million facility assistance program. Revenue is to be used for the payment of principal and interest on bonds. Districts must apply to the education commissioner before issuing bonds that will be supported with state help.
Julie Davis Bell and Terry Whitney are education experts at NCSL NCSL National Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL National College for School Leadership
NCSL National Conference of Standards Laboratories
NCSL National Council of State Legislators
NCSL National Computer Systems Laboratory (NIST) .