An Act evaluating providing additional educational assistance to school districts with low or declining enrollment

 

S.248, introduced by Senator Jo Comerford

H.409, introduced by Representative Natalie Blais

 

Why Chapter 70 needs a Low Enrollment Adjustment Factor (LEAF)

 

Population in many parts of the state is flat or even declining, causing low and declining enrollments in schools and school districts. Schools with declining enrollments do not receive increases in Chapter 70 aid. The result is that teacher health care, student transportation, and all costs for these schools increase but Chapter 70 aid remains flat.

 

What the bill does:

  • Instructs the department of elementary and secondary education to study establishing an adjustment to the Chapter 70 formula for the way aid is allocated to school districts with low or declining enrollment
  • Study would examine the fixed labor and material costs that do not vary relative to the number of students, and how those costs impact the ability of schools with low or declining enrollment to provide a quality education to their students
  • The study would consider options for a formula adjustment, including the use of a low or declining enrollment adjustment factor applied in a manner similar to the wage adjustment factor
  • The department would report the results of the study to the chairs of the joint committee on education and the house and senate chairs of the committees on ways and means, on or before January 1, 2020

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