Equity issues placed on state’s debate table

Seven area legislators introduced companion bills in the Senate and House last week to amend a state law addressing equity revenue.  If passed in the Legislature and signed by the governor, the amended law would allow approximately $100,000 annually in new funding for the Elk River Area School District.

This is the second of two bills being sought to help the Elk River area schools with funding.  The first is a roll-over fund transfer bill from the last session.

Reps. Joyce Peppin (District 32A), Mary Kiffmeyer (16B) and Jim Abeler (48B) are the sponsors of HF 2625. The bill is now with the House Committee on Education Finance. Sens. Warren Limmer (District 32) Dave Brown (16), Mike Jungbauer (48), and Amy Koch (19) introduced SF 2207.  That bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Education.

Both bills address education finance and seek to adjust “equity revenue for Independent School District No. 728, Elk River, by the metro equity region factor for students in the region.”

An existing state statute allows additional equity funding to school districts whose main offices are located in the seven-county metro area, which includes Hennepin and Anoka counties.  The ISD 728 District Office is located in Sherburne County; however, more than 3,390 students live in Anoka and Hennepin counties.

The district also has roll-over legislation from last year.  A Funds Transfer bill (HF-677 and SF-425) was previously introduced by Kiffmeyer in the House and Brown in the Senate. This bill requests permission to transfer restricted debt-service reserve funds without making a levy reduction. These are collected funds previously approved by taxpayers.