Legislation tackles transparency, permissive building reserve levy for schools

Senate Bill 307, which would revise laws dealing with school funding, passed the Senate, 48 – 1, at the end of February, and had its first hearing in the House of Representatives on March 13.

“It still hasn’t been signed into law, but it has a retroactive date, so there are some things we need to do,” said Fred Hofman, Harrison School Superintendent.

If the bill passes, all schools will be required to advertise any anticipated changes to non-voted levies. Non-voted levies are also called permissive levies. Funds for adult education, bus depreciation, tuition and transportation have historically been permissive levies. SB 307 also includes language that would create a permissive building reserve levy, where schools would be permitted get up to 10 mills for a building reserve fund.

“It’s the legislature’s attempt to have a way to get started on infrastructure issues,” explained Pam Birkeland, Madison County Superintendent of Schools. “It’s a way schools can get started on doing some of the repairs that are needed.”

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