State Board Shifts Again to Kindergarten to Grade 12 Enrollment Funding Model

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“Most districts have seen participation rates 5-10% lower than in pre-pandemic years,” K-12 business leaders from 13 districts wrote in a combined statement included in the documents. Wednesday’s meeting.

State Council staff described declines based on October and November reports from schools to the state to the tune of $ 65 million.

That doesn’t mean all schools would feel the full financial burden if the school board sticks to an attendance-based model this year. State law guarantees that school districts in Idaho receive at least 97% of the funds they received in the previous year.

But this safe fall only works because the districts step in to help cover the costs of the districts that have to use it. And not all public schools can count on the extra layer of funding protection.

Idaho public charter schools are not eligible, “so there is no ‘floor’ to support declining support units,” wrote the president of the Idaho charter schools network , Terry Ryan, in a separate letter to the Board.

Little discussion preceded the unanimous board vote on Wednesday, although some members stressed the need to help schools that continue to battle the lingering pandemic.

“I think it comes down to the fact that the impact on school districts is real and serious,” said Linda Clark, board member, former K-12 superintendent.

Board chairman Kurt Liebich has raised concerns about a greater impact on state charter schools and schools’ efforts to encourage sick children to stay home during the pandemic.

“If we don’t do something here, we’ll penalize them for essentially doing the right thing,” Liebich said, adding, “I think we’ll have a lot of relieved superintendents and business leaders.”

The temporary rule expires when the next legislative session closes, Tracie Bent, state council planning and policy officer, told council members after the vote.


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