[r59] Rep. Smith: Education Receives Funding Flexibility (3/1/2010)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Start Date: 3/1/2010 All Day
End Date: 3/1/2010

STATEHOUSE -Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus) supported Senate Bill (SB) 309 allowing school corporations to transfer surplus balances among funds, if they agree to avoid terminating any school employees during the 2010-2011 school year. The bill passed out of the House by an 83-16 vote.

"With the $300 million reduction in school funding, we have to find ways to allow schools to reallocate funds where they are needed most," Rep. Smith said. "Since these cuts were first announced, I have been doing everything possible to give schools funding flexibility so no teacher would have to lose their job."

As SB 309 stands now, it has several provisions including:

. Permits schools to transfer monies from certain funds under certain conditions.

. Prohibit schools from paying any portion of a school board member's health insurance premium during the 2010-2011 school year.

. Requires a study to determine whether it is more cost effective to measure school year in terms of minutes rather than days.

Next week, a conference committee of both the House and Senate will meet and work out the final details of SB 309. Once an agreement is met by all four caucuses, the bill will go back to each chamber for a final vote.

"We need to ensure that schools have the flexibility in funding they need so teachers will not have to be laid off," Rep. Smith said.