INDIANA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BUSINESS OFFICIALS
2020 LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTIONS
I. The 2020 Indiana General Assembly
The 2020 session of the Indiana General Assembly is a short session and it has been stated that the focus will not be on increased school funding or the school distribution formula. Indiana ASBO will be targeting specific issues dealing with school business management in their legislative resolutions for this year. School funding is always a priority of IASBO and our basic resolutions are included in this document.
A major message to the 2020 General Assembly is to allow HEA 1009 (2017) to move forward and provide the flexibility for school corporations. HEA 1009 was designed to provide information regarding the funding for education issues (Education Fund) and operation activities (Operation Fund). This new process for school accounting has only been implemented for less than a year. IASBO recommends that the General Assembly allow HEA 1009 to work before comparisons and early perceptions are determined.
II. School Funding and School Business Management Issues
A. Additional Funding in the 2020 Session
• If the General Assembly decides to open the state budget for additional public school funding during the 2020 session, IASBO believes that these monies should go to increase the Teacher Appreciation Grants and the School Safety Grants.
IASBO recommends that any new monies added to the state budget in the 2020 session for public education should go for increased funding for Teacher Appreciation Grants and School Safety Grants. TAG monies go directly to teachers and the safety grants provide the needed safety for students and staff.
B. Oppose Any Change in School Referendum Election Procedures
• The current election procedures for school referendums should not be changed. Referendums should not be limited to only general elections.
IASBO recommends that school referendums should continue to be held during general, primary and municipal elections. If referendums are limited to only general elections, then every four years referendums could not be held. The one revenue source that school corporations have to increase funding is through the referendum process.
C. Local Control Regarding Employee Benefits
• Local school boards should continue to control employee benefits through the current collective bargaining process.
IASBO recommends that there be no state mandates regarding employee benefits such as health and prescription plans. The current collective bargaining process allows school boards, administrators, teachers and other employees to determine what is best for their school corporations. Compensation is a total package, not only salary, and this can be best decided at the local level.
D. Oppose State Mandate for 15% Transfer
• HEA 1003 (2019) created a process suggesting that only15% of each school corporation’s state support should be transferred from the Education Fund to the Operation Fund. The 15% amount should not be mandated for every school corporation.
IASBO recommends that the 15% transfer amount in HEA 1003 (2019) should not be mandated for every school corporation. Local issues such as major circuit breaker losses make it necessary to transfer more than 15%. This measure has been in existence for only one year and school corporations need to continue to work with their local issues before any process is mandated.
E. School Business Office Reporting Revisions
• The duplication of reporting requirements for the school business office should be eliminated.
IASBO recommends that the duplication of reporting requirements should be reviewed and that redundancy of these reports should be eliminated. Numerous reports with the same information are sent to different agencies in the same year. Some reports are sent up to five times a year. The time it takes to create these reports are a hardship on the school business office. The Gateway system should be used to submit all reports to assure transparency and to eliminate duplicate reporting.
F. Teacher Appreciation Grants
• The Teacher Appreciation Grant statute should be amended to provide school corporations 60 days to provide the grant increase to teachers (current law is 20 days).
IASBO recommends that school corporations have 60 days to distribute the Teacher Appreciation Grants to teachers. The current law states that the monies must be distributed within 20 days of receipt of the grant. The extra time will provide the corporation business office additional time to make the distribution and provide them an opportunity to highlight the stipend after the holidays.
G. Revision to Transfer Tuition Statute
• The current transfer tuition statute should be revised so that the billing goes to the school corporation receiving the state funding for the student rather than the school corporation of legal settlement for the student.
IASBO recommends that transfer tuition billing should go to the school corporation who receives the state funding for the student rather than the school corporation of legal settlement. This is a fairness issue since the corporation of legal settlement does not receive state funding for the student in question. Further, the Form 515 should be revised accordingly and to reduce the amount of time required for completion.
H. School Calendars Should Be a Local Decision
• School calendars are created by the local school board, school administration, teachers, and the public, and there should not be a state mandate on when schools should begin classes.
IASBO recommends that there be no state mandate on when a school corporation should begin the school year. That should continue to be a local decision. School calendars are determined with the input of parents and local citizens to meet the academic needs of students.
I. Tax Incremental Financing Debt Operating Balance
• Tax Incremental Financing (TIF’s) should operate with a maximum debt operating balance of 50% and revert dollars not needed for the balance to the appropriate political subdivisions.
IASBO recommends that TIF’s operate like political subdivisions regarding debt operating balances. Political subdivisions have a 50% debt operating balance for debt incurred before June 30, 2014. TIF’s should have the same restriction that would provide excessive funds to be distributed to political subdivisions and assist with the negative impact of circuit breakers.
J. Voting Member on Redevelopment Commissions
• The school representative on Redevelopment Commissions should be a voting member.
IASBO recommends that the school representative on redevelopment commissions be a voting member. This will provide real school input into the decisions of redevelopment commissions.
K. Agricultural Assessed Valuation Study
• The Agricultural Assessed Valuation provision passed by the 2016 General Assembly should have further analysis
IASBO understands that the farm land AV issue has a negative impact on the property tax levies for numerous school corporations. A study on these negative aspects should be completed before the 2016 law is fully implemented in 2019.
L. Fiscal Questions Regarding the Graduation Pathways
• There should be a thorough review of the Graduation Pathways provision to determine the fiscal impact regarding the implementation of this new process.
IASBO supports a study be made on the cost of the Graduation Pathways concept. The proposed revision in Graduation Pathways for graduating seniors will have a fiscal impact. At this time, the impact is unknown especially regarding the need for additional counselors. Before the Graduation Pathways concept is implemented, the funding for the program should be determined and the impact on local school corporation funds.
M. School Corporations Should Be Exempt from the State Special Fuel Surcharge
• The current law dealing with the state special fuel surcharge should be amended to exempt school corporations from this process.
IASBO supports school corporations be exempt from the state special fuel surcharge. Currently, school corporations pay the tax and then can request a refund from the state for the tax. With the current process, there is additional work and time for both school corporations and the Department oF Revenue.
II. Future Funding Issues
A. The Increase in State Appropriation for Tuition Support in the Future Should Be No Less Than the Current Cost of Living Index
B. The Foundation Amount in the School Distribution Formula Must Continue to be Increased
C. The Complexity Index in the School Funding Formula Must Be Adequately Addressed
D. The Second ADM Count in February Should be Eliminated for State Tuition Support Funding
E. Funding for the Choice Scholarship (Vouchers) and the Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship Programs Should Have a Separate Appropriation in the State Budget
F. No Expansion of Choice Scholarships (Vouchers) Until the Effectiveness of the Program is Determined
G. Categorical Instructional Initiatives Should Be Fully Funded