SCF ‘funding fix’ plan sails through the House

Rep. Reed DeMordaunt’s bill to keep districts whole, in the wake of the Students Come First repeal, flew through the House Tuesday, winning unanimous approval without any debate.

DeMordaunt, an Eagle Republican who leads the House Education Committee, said he pushed House Bill 65 to prevent school districts from losing more than $30 in anticipated funding.

DeMordaunt argues that districts set their 2012-13 budgets last year based around the Students Come First laws on the books at the time.

ReedDeMordaunt1175
Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle

“They had hired teachers and they had made contracts, which I believe they should continue to meet their obligations on,” DeMordaunt said. “I believe all of us have every right – in fact we have an obligation – to consider this type of legislation.”

The bill, which contains an emergency clause that would make it effective as soon it is adopted – only restores money and programs for the current budget year. It addresses initiatives and programs ranging from technology to teachers, including:

  • Restoring more than $4.8 million to pay for more math and science teachers.
  • Providing nearly $16.2 million for professional development and technology.
  • Returning $842,400 for dual credit courses for high school students who complete graduation requirements early.
  • Allowing districts to have use-it-or-lose-it spending flexibility with 9.5 percent of money they receive for staffing.
  • Unfreezing one year of education credits on the salary table that determines what educators are paid.

Following its swift passage through the House, the bill next heads to the Senate, where the committee, hearing and voting process starts over.