On February 9, 2021, the Senate Finance Committee held one of many hearings on the state’s budget bill, SB 1. House and Senate leadership have committed to fully funding enrollment growth, tax compression, and the funding provided in HB 3 from the last legislative session. This is great news for public education and the many important programs included in HB 3.
School districts are still waiting for a decision on whether or not the funding hold harmless will be extended for the remainder of this school year. Commissioner of Education Mike Morath noted at recent speaking events that he anticipates a decision will be made by the end of the month.
The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the portion of the budget impacting public schools (Article III) on February 22, and we anticipate this issue will part of the commissioner’s comments and a discussion item before the committee during that hearing.
TASA encourages superintendents to reach out to their senators to:
- Thank them for the commitment to fully funding HB 3, enrollment growth, and tax compression.
- Share with them the various tools and measures your school districts have implemented to ensure student attendance during the pandemic. It is imperative that lawmakers know the many efforts school districts have made to find and retain students during the pandemic.
- Explain the importance of extending the hold harmless funding for the rest of the school year and the negative impact to your school district’s budget if there is no funding extension.