2008 Legislation
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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 122<br /> – School funding formula, study


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SCR122............................................................by KEOUGH
SCHOOLS - FUNDING - Stating findings of the Legislature and authorizing the
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee to direct the Office of Performance
Evaluations to conduct a study of Idaho's kindergarten through grade 12
public education funding formula and to provide for study objectives.

01/10    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/11    Rpt prt - to St Aff

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-ninth Legislature                   Second Regular Session - 2008


                                       IN THE SENATE

                            SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 122

                                         BY KEOUGH

  1                               A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

  6    Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

  7        WHEREAS,  this  Legislature and the state of Idaho hold as one of our most
  8    important priorities the provision of a quality public  education  system  for
  9    all  of Idaho's children, regardless of where they live or their economic cir-
 10    cumstances; and
 11        WHEREAS, Section 1, Article IX of the Constitution of the State  of  Idaho
 12    provides:  "The  stability of a republican form of government depending mainly
 13    upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of  the  legislature
 14    of  Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of
 15    public, free common schools."; and
 16        WHEREAS, the Second Regular Session of the Fifty-second Idaho  Legislature
 17    in  1994  directed  the  State Board of Education to adopt rules necessary and
 18    consistent with a thorough system of education; and
 19        WHEREAS, in response, the Idaho State Board  of  Education  adopted  rules
 20    that further define the essential ingredients of a thorough education, includ-
 21    ing  establishing  standards  for each subject and grade level and identifying
 22    minimum graduation standards; and
 23        WHEREAS, to ensure success, such a system requires sufficient resources to
 24    employ highly qualified teachers and other educators, the provision of  appro-
 25    priate  learning materials and technology, and the establishment of assessment
 26    programs and practices; and
 27        WHEREAS, the state of Idaho spends the largest share of its general  fund,
 28    approximately  $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2007, on kindergarten through grade
 29    12 public education; and
 30        WHEREAS, there is an ongoing debate about whether Idaho's  public  schools
 31    are adequately funded, without any clear definition of what is "adequate"; and
 32        WHEREAS, each year, many school districts have to seek additional funds to
 33    meet their operational needs; and
 34        WHEREAS,  school  districts  and citizen groups have raised concerns about
 35    the adequacy of kindergarten through grade 12 public education funding; and
 36        WHEREAS, there is benefit in a clear and impartially derived determination
 37    as to what is an adequately funded kindergarten through grade 12 public educa-
 38    tion system.
 39        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Second  Regular  Ses-
 40    sion  of the Fifty-ninth Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Repre-
 41    sentatives concurring therein, that the Joint Legislative Oversight  Committee
 42    is  authorized  to  direct  the Office of Performance Evaluations to conduct a
 43    study of Idaho's kindergarten through grade 12 public education  funding  for-
 44    mula in order to identify and evaluate issues relating to the adequacy of kin-


  1    dergarten  through  grade  12  public  education funding, but exclude from the
  2    study the issues of facilities and transportation. The Office  of  Performance
  3    Evaluation study shall focus on the following objectives:
  4        (1)  Review  research  on school funding and obtain information from other
  5        states and  national  education  organizations  to  evaluate  how  Idaho's
  6        approach to funding compares to other states' approaches, and identify the
  7        strengths and weaknesses of those various approaches;
  8        (2)  From  the  stakeholders' perspectives, identify and evaluate adequacy
  9        issues in public education funding in Idaho related  to  how  the  current
 10        funding  formula  allocates  funds  to  school districts and, in turn, how
 11        school districts allocate funds to individual schools;
 12        (3)  Based on data currently available from school districts and the State
 13        Department of Education related to spending, student  characteristics  and
 14        performance  indicators,  attempt  to  verify and quantify specific issues
 15        raised in addressing objectives (1) and (2);
 16        (4)  Evaluate how other states have addressed the  same  kinds  of  issues
 17        facing Idaho, ascertain whether those efforts have proven to be successful
 18        and evaluate the feasibility of undertaking similar efforts in Idaho; and
 19        (5)  To the extent that avoidable and unintended problems with the current
 20        funding formula and allocations of state funds are identified, make recom-
 21        mendations to rectify those problems and, as appropriate, identify options
 22        and  criteria that permit the Legislature to focus on the highest priority
 23        issues that may emerge from this study.
 24        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Office  of  Performance  Evaluation  shall
 25    report  its  study to the First Regular Session of the Sixtieth Idaho Legisla-
 26    ture.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

                             RS 17506

The purpose of this resolution is to authorize the Office of
Performance Evaluations to conduct a study of Idaho's
Kindergarten through grade 12 public education funding formula in
order to identify and evaluate issues relating to the adequacy of
K-12 public education funding.  The current funding formula was
established in the mid-1990's and has not been evaluated to
ascertain whether or not it is meeting the intentions for
providing funding in the K-12 public system since that time. 
About half of Idaho's school districts pass supplemental levies
yearly and there are repeated calls to fund schools "adequately"
yet no definition of "adequately funded schools" exists.  This
resolution seeks to begin the research needed to define "adequate
funding" for our K-12 schools in an objective manner with the
Legislature's non-partisan professional evaluation staff at the
Office of Performance Evaluations.

                          FISCAL IMPACT

The Office of Performance Evaluations will need to do some
outside contracting on this study and the cost is estimated to be
$200,000.  This amount will be needed in addition to OPE's
regular budget which is funded from the State's General Fund. 

Name:     Senator Shawn Keough
Phone:    (208) 332-1000

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                       SCR 122