Funding formula committee will resume work Tuesday

When the Legislature’s school funding formula committee meets Tuesday, part of the job will be to set more meetings.

The committee will begin its third off-season of work at 8:30 a.m. in room EW 41 of the Statehouse’s basement garden level.

The committee will spend some time figuring out where to meet later this summer, when lawmakers hold field hearings across the state. The committee also will set some other meeting dates — and the working schedule suggests that lawmakers have some big decisions ahead.

For Year Three, the 10-member legislative committee plans to move from studying Idaho’s intricate school funding formula to recommending changes. The committee has talked in general terms about shifting to a “student-based” model that distributes money based on student enrollment. But the committee is expected to have a formal recommendation for the 2019 Legislature.

The funding formula is critical because it is the roadmap the state uses to distribute nearly $1.8 billion for public schools. But rewriting the formula is a complex job — and potentially a contentious job. Idaho has not updated the formula since 1994.

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