General Assembly Activities
Thursday, January 10, 2019
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTIVITIES
House Education Committee
The House Education Committee met yesterday morning to hear HB 1003, school corporation expenditure targets. Representatives Dale DeVon and Todd Huston are the co-authors of the bill. Representative DeVon with the assistance of Representative Bob Behning explained the intent of the bill is to provide a “guideline” or “goal” for school corporations when it came to the transfer of monies from the Education Fund to the Operation Fund. HB 1003 calls for every corporation to “make every reasonable effort to transfer no more than 15%” of the total revenue in the Education Fund to the Operation Fund. Representative Behning said that “the goal of the bill is to drive more money into the classroom and to teachers using existing resources”. It was stated that there are no fiscal penalties or sanctions in the bill for noncompliance regarding the 15% figure, and that the bill was not punitive. Representative Behning said that their data shows that the current state-wide average is 83% or 17% being transferred. This data was not distributed, but IASBO was told it would be available on Thursday. Further, the bill is touted for more reporting and transparency.
Testifying in favor of the bill were: Stand for Children, a teacher from Evansville, and the Indiana Federation of Teachers. Surprisingly, the ISTA did not testify, but they supported the bill in a newspaper article.
Opposing the bill or raising questions regarding the need for the bill were: IASBO, DOE, Bob Schultz (CFO at Marion Community Schools), IAPSS, Small and Rural Schools Association, Indiana Coalition for Public Education, and ISBA. The primary issues brought forward were as follows:
- HEA 1009 has just become law 8 days ago and had not had the time to be implemented.
- HEA 1009 is transparent regarding the transfer of funds since it must be performed at an open school board meeting, placed on the school corporation website, and sent to the DOE.
- HB 1003 should be delayed for a year to allow HEA 1009 provisions to be properly implemented.
- Every school corporation has a story to tell and that all corporations cannot be treated the same regarding their need to transfer monies.
- There needs to be more review of the impact of property tax caps, successful referendums, and reporting regarding the transfers.
- Will the recommendation in HB 1003 become a regulation in the future?
- Does HB 1003 purpose of using existing revenues for additional teacher salary increases mean that the funding in the next biennial budget for K-12 schools be less?
- HB 1003 will increase the reporting requirements for school corporations.
- HB 1003 is not a comprehensive measure to raise compensation for all teachers.
The bill passed the committee by a vote of 9-3. All Democrats voted against the bill and all Republicans voted for the bill. Democratic Representative Ed Delaney stated before his vote, “there is no real correlation between this bill and teacher pay”. HB 1003 will be recommitted to the House Ways and Means Committee. Representatives DeVon and Huston were open for to receive potential amendments to the bill.
IASBO and IAPSS would like to thank all of you who sent us your transfer percentages We received 180 responses. 43.3% of the responses were 15% or lower with 56.7% above 15%. This information was very helpful during yesterday’s hearing. Thanks again for the quick response.
House Ways and Means Committee
The committee met yesterday afternoon to hear the following bills:
- HB 1060, school corporation operations fund levy. The authors of the bill are Rep. Bartels and Bacon. This bill dealt with a levy issue for the North Spencer County School Corporation. The issue was in a bill last year but unfortunately that bill failed. The issue was supported by the DLGF to assure that the school corporation received the maximum levy for their Operations Fund. Testifying in favor of the bill were: Dan Scherry, Superintendent for the North Spencer County SC; Jeff Qualkenbush from Barnes & Thornburg; and, IASBO. The bill passed 21-0.
- HB 1021, education finance. Rep. Thompson is the author of the bill. The bill has three components that were requested by IASBO. The first deals with changing the term “general fund” to “education or operation fund” as per HEA 1009. LSA found three more statues that needed to be changed. Secondly, the bill extends the circuit breaker waiver statute to 2022. Lastly, the bill deletes the language dealing with the capital assets plan in the Operation Fund that called for the source of revenue for the plan to be determined. Testifying in favor of the bill were: IASBO (also testifying for ISBA) and ISTA. The bill was held till next week’s meeting.
- HB 1034, political subdivision controlled projects and debt. The bill is authored by Rep. Thompson. The bill modifies the threshold amounts used for the determination of controlled projects for petition and remonstrance and referendums. We checked with bond councils and the modifications are an overall positive move for school corporations. Secondly, the bill allows on the referendum question whether existing debt is being retired. Testifying on the bill were ISBA and IASBO. The bill was held till the next meeting.
Position: Director of Finance
Corporation: Knox Community School Corporation
Requirements: Serve as the Boards fiscal advisor. Keep the Superintendent and Board informed about the District’s financial status and emerging issues. Maintain accurate financial records. Recommend operational improvements that enhance the District’s fiscal accountability. Uphold Board policies and follow administrative procedures.
Submit the Following: Letter of interest; Application; Resume; References
Contact: Dr. William Reichhart, Superintendent, Knox Community School Corporation, #2 Redskin Trail, Knox, IN 46534, 574-772-1601, firstname.lastname@example.org