Issue Background

School Aid Budget

The budgets have now been passed by each Chamber. The next Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference is set for May 21, 2021. This will give the Legislature and the Governor the most current revenue figures with which to set the final budget.

The most notable sections repealed throughout all the budgets are many of those that created flexibility needed to deal with starting and continuing school through the pandemic for the 2020-2021 school year. The related pandemic language was designed to only be for the 2020-2021 year, so the budget is back to the 2019-2020 school year language, including pupil count.

Keep in mind the process and negotiations continue. 

We will keep you informed as the budget continues to move through the process.

Updated May 13, 2021

This week the House and Senate each passed their budget proposals. House Bill 4407 passed by a vote of 89-18 on Tuesday and Senate Bill 83 passed by a vote of 19-17 on Wednesday. We don’t expect further work to be done until after the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference on May 21.

The following breaks down of the School Aid Budget by relevant sections to reflect the most recent versions.  

Sec. 20 – Per-pupil foundation allowance

Governor: Increases the foundation allowance by $82-164 per pupil through the 2x formula. It also sets the cyber school allowance at 80% of the per-pupil amount.

House: Increases the foundation allowance by $50-100 per pupil through the 2x formula. It does not cut the cyber school allowance.

Senate: Increases the foundation allowance by $125-250 per pupil through the 2x formula. It does not cut the cyber school allowance.

Sec 22d – Rural & isolated districts:

Governor: Increases this line item by $140,000, a 2% increase.

House: Increases the line item by $342,700, a 5% increase.

Senate: Increases the line item by $300,100, a 4% increase and includes a placeholder to expand to districts with more than 250 square miles (that don’t already received funds under this section).

Sec 22e – Rural transportation

Governor: Does not include this section.

House:  Creates new section with $50 million for transportation costs for district with fewer than 20 pupils per square mile to be distributed on a per-pupil basis.

Senate: Does not include this section. However, budget does include a placeholder for a new transportation categorial in Sec. 78.

Sec 23b – Remediation services

Governor: Not applicable, this section was added by 2020-2021 supplemental budget after proposal was released.

House: Appropriations $152.4 million for 2021-2022 and removes references to COVID-19 to say “remediation services”.

Senate: Does not include this section.

Sec 23e – Community-based organization before/after school programs

Governor: Not applicable, this section was added by 2020-2021 supplemental budget after proposal was released.

House: Appropriates $5 million for 2020-2021.

Senate: Does not include this section.

Sec 26d – Brownfield redevelopment reimbursement

Governor: Appropriates $7.5 million to reimburse ISDs for taxes captured by brownfield redevelopment areas.

House: Concurs with Governor.

Senate: Concurs with Governor.

Sec 29b – Declining enrollment

Governor: Appropriates $200 million to allocate 70% of the district’s per-pupil foundation for each “lost” student between this year’s count and the 2021-2022 school year count.

House: Does not include this section.

Senate: Does not include this section.

Sec. 31a – At-risk funding

Governor: Increases funding by $12.5 million, states the allocation for each district should be equal to 35% of the eligible amount before any proration occurs (current law is 30%) and extends at-risk definition to include Pre-K.

House: Maintains current year funding and concurs with language stating the allocation for each district should be equal to 35% of the eligible amount before any proration occurs and extending to Pre-K.

Senate: Maintains current year funding and proration percentage, but does concur with extending to Pre-K. Increases child and adolescent health center funding by $2 million.

Sec 31b – Balanced calendar

Governor: Does not include this section.

House: Creates new section appropriating $25 million for grants up to $150,000 per school building that implements a first-time balanced calendar for 5 years beginning in 2022-2023 school year.

Senate: Does not include this section.

Sec 31n – School mental health and support services

Governor: Maintains funding at 2020-2021 levels.

House: Increases funding by $4.25 million for a total of $41.2 million and directs the increase to the allocation for behavioral health providers in schools.

Senate: Maintains funding at 2020-2021 supplemental budget level of $56.9 million.

Sec. 32d & 39 – Great Start Readiness Program

Governor: $32 million increase for the Great Start Readiness Program to bring the full day rate from $7,255 to the minimum foundation allowance of $8,275.

House: Increases funding by $31.5 million to bring the full day rate from $7,255 to the minimum foundation allowance of $8,211.

Senate: Concurs with the Governor.

Sec 35g – Out-of-school learning

Governor: $120 million for summer learning engagement opportunities for 2021 and 2022. This funding would flow through ISDs and could be used for various programs, including partnership with outside agencies and nonprofits.

House: Does not include this language. Instead, this new section appropriates $1 million for districts to establish/maintain innovative community libraries.

Senate: Does not include this section.

Sec. 41 – English Language Learners

Governor: Increases funding by $260,000 for a 2% increase over last year.

House: Maintains current funding level.

Senate: Increases funding by $390,000, a 3% increase.

Sec 51f – Special education cost reimbursement

Governor: Increases funding for special education programs by $1.2 million.

House: Maintains current funding level.

Senate: Concurs with Governor.

Sec 56 – Special education millage reimbursement

Governor: maintains current year funding.

House: Increases funding by $20 million for ISDs that levy a special education millage and creates a tiered allocation formula.

Senate:  Concurs with Governor

Sec. 81 – ISD funding

Governor: Increases funding to ISDs by $1.38 million for a 2% increase over last year.

House: Maintains current year funding.

Senate: Concurs with Governor but bases funding on the condition that charter schools be included in communications particularly related to COVID-19.

Sec 97 – School Safety Grants

Governor: Does not include this section.

House: Creates new section appropriating $10 million for competitive school safety grants with a cap of $50,000 per building and $250,000 per district.

Senate: Creates a placeholder for this new section.

Sec 98b – Extended Continuity of Learning Plans

Governor: Does not include this section.

House: Does not include this section

Senate: Requires a ECOL plan if the district conducts remote learning only during the first half of the school year due to a public health requirement or a parent opting to keep the student remote.

Sec. 101 – Days and hours

Governor: Removes all references to pandemic learning for the 2020-2021, the section returns to language from beginning of 2019-2020 school year.

House: Concurs with Governor.

Senate: Removes 2020-2021 pandemic learning language and waives the 75% daily attendance requirement until Dec 31, 2021 or the end of the first semester for the district, whichever is later.

Sec 104h – Benchmark assessments in 2022-2023 school year

Governor: Does not include this section.

House: Creates new section and appropriates $11.5 million for districts to implement a benchmark assessment system for the 2022-2023 school year that meets certain requirements.

Senate: Does not include this section.

Sec. 147 – MPSERS rates

Governor: Makes annual adjustments to all of the rates.

House: Concurs with Governor but allows for further adjustments if House Bill 4261 is enacted (requiring the use of level-dollar method for paying off unfunded actuarial accrued liability).

Senate: Concurs with the Governor.

Sec 147a – MPSERS offset

Governor: Maintains the $100 million to offset district retirement costs and increases the funding to cover the increase in normal costs for districts by $22.3 million.

House: Maintains the $100 million and increases the funding to cover the increase in normal costs for districts by $17.3 million.

Senate: Concurs with the Governor.

Sec. 147c – MPSERS rate cap

Governor: Increases the average rate cap per-pupil amount by $84, to $911, and sets the rate cap per-pupil for districts to a range of $5-$4200.

House: Concurs with Governor but allows for further adjustments if HB 4261 is enacted.

Senate: Concurs with Governor.

Sec 147d – MPSERS one time payment

Governor: Does not include this section.

House: Creates a new one-time appropriation of $250 million to pay for MPSERS unfunded accrued liabilities.

Senate: Does not include this section.

Sec 152b – reimbursement to nonpublic schools

Governor: Repeals this section.

House: Appropriates $2.5 million.

Senate: Appropriations $250,000.