Board offers up 2013 legislative platform

The Elk River Area  School Board’s 2013 Legislative Platform includes four priorities. The are Adequate Funding, Metro-Equity Revenue, Permanent Transfer from Debt Redemption Fund and Compensatory Education Revenue. Here’s more on each:

•Adequate Funding: ISD 728 is the eighth largest district in Minnesota, yet the district continues to receive far less funding than similar districts. Of every tax levy dollar District 728 receives, approximately 48 cents is spent on retiring debt on newer school buildings. As examples, District 728 receives approximately $990 less total revenue per student compared to the state average, and $1,750 less than the 20 largest metro districts. The cross subsidy of special education has grown to $9 million to provide mandated special education services.

•Metro Equity Revenue: A second priority calls for adjusting equity revenue for District 728 by what is called the “Metro Equity Region Factor” for students residing within the district’s boundaries. This is an existing state law that provides school district offices located in the metro counties of Anoka, Hennepin Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott and Washington to receive additional funding. The Elk River Area School District’s District Office is located in Sherburne County. As more than 3,390 district students reside in Anoka or Hennepin counties, this proposal argues ISD 728 should receive equitable funding. With passage of a proposed bill, at current enrollment figures, the Elk River Area School District could receive up to $400,000 more in annual funding from the state.

•Permanent transfer from Debt Redemption Fund: This issue has been crafted for legislation the past three sessions. This proposed bill will request permission to transfer restricted Debt Service Reserve funds to the General Fund without making a levy reduction. These are collected funds previously approved by our taxpayers. District 728 will once again request a one-time request to transfer up to 80 percent (approximately $3.28 million) of these funds to go to the general fund without making a levy reduction.

•Compensatory Education Revenue: This priority will ask the Legislature to make permanent its 2012 “one-time” approval of $1.4 million in compensatory education revenue to ISD 728.

The parent-led ISD 728 Legislative Action Team (LAT) will help educate the public and state elected officials of the 2013 Legislative Platform.

The LAT will also support crafting language and identifying authors for the bills and provide opportunities for the District 728 community to become involved in the legislative process.

To learn more and to become a member of the LAT, visit www.elkriver.k12.mn.us/lat.

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