One of the more interesting bills in the Capitol, Rep. Charlie Hoffman’s House Bill 1213, has been delayed by the House Education Community.
Current South Dakota law sets 100-student floor for school districts. Districts with fewer students than that have to combine with other districts.
Hoffman would change that into a more flexible incentive. Schools which fall below 100 students under HB 1213 would lose part of their state funding — receiving a percentage of full state funding equal to their number of students. So a school with 90 students would get 90 percent of its state funding.
That, Hoffman said, would force most small schools to consolidate. But it would give them the option, if the community wanted, to raise local taxes to keep the school running.
No one hated the idea in today’s committee hearing, but several people suggested it was unnecessary if another bill, Sen. Mark Johnston’s Senate Bill 96, passes.
Hoffman said HB 1213 was a companion bill to SB 96, while the Associated School Boards said they overlapped.
That bill will be soon heard by the House Education Committee, which voted today to consider HB 1213 on the same day as SB 96.