Public hearing on funding formula bill set for Monday

A public hearing on a proposed school funding formula rewrite is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

But first, the House will try again to introduce a version of a funding formula bill.

Senate Education Committee’s public hearing is set for 2 p.m. at the Lincoln Auditorium, the Statehouse’s largest committee meeting room. The Lincoln Auditorium is located on the west end of the Statehouse’s underground garden level.

Senate Bill 1196 is the only item on Senate Education’s docket. That is the latest version of a bill to rewrite the formula, a complex calculus that the state has used since 1994. (Click here to download a spreadsheet that shows how the formula affects individual school districts.)

The bill was introduced Wednesday. Senate Education discussed the mechanics of the bill in a Thursday meeting, but took no public testimony.

This will be the Legislature’s first full-blown public hearing on a funding formula bill. However, time could be limited.

The Senate often schedules late-afternoon floor sessions in the final weeks of the legislative session, to work their way through the backlog of bills that stand in the way of adjournment. Committee Chairman Dean Mortimer has said he might limit public hearing testimony to two to three minutes per speaker.

The House Education Committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. Monday, and one item on the docket is introducing a funding formula bill. House Education Chairman Lance Clow is listed as the sponsor.

Normally, introductory hearings are routine and brief, with no public testimony. But House Education’s last hearing on this issue was anything but routine. On Monday, Republicans on the committee refused to introduce a bill sponsored by Clow, R-Twin Falls, and Vice Chairman Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth.

Check back at Idaho Education News Monday for full coverage.




Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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