SB 16-188 (Hill/Williams & Sias) Access to Resources for Charter Schools  

Originally Posted: April 15, 2016
Last Updated: April 22, 2016

Summary

After amendments in the Senate, this bill would still address key issues related to funding and facilities for charter schools by creating mill levy equalizations among district public school students; reducing requirements imposed on charter schools as conditions of qualifying for capital construction funding; and leveling the BEST playing field. Starting in the 2017-2018 budget year, the bill would require a school district to distribute the revenue it receives from ongoing local property tax mill levies equally, on a per-student basis, to the school district charter schools, with exceptions for revenue that is restricted to certain uses by voters. Districts will be required to notify schools of any vacant or underutilized buildings or land in the district’s possession and allow charters to submit proposals for those facilities. The bill would eliminate the requirement that charter schools wait five years before being able to apply for BEST funding and add “maintenance” to the list of allowable Charter Capital Construction expenses.

Position

The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this legislation and will be testifying in support next week. Charter schools are public schools. Tax revenue collected from all taxpayers in a school district should benefit all public school students in that district and be distributed on an equitable, pro-rata basis. Further, charters currently face enormous challenges securing facilities, and they deserve equitable access to land and building space. Taxpaying families should not be penalized simply for sending their child to one type of public school over another.

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Current Status

The House Education Committee voted on a bipartisan 9-2 vote to postpone the bill indefinitely. We look forward to working with partners to come up with viable solutions to address inequities in funding for charter schools.

Previous Status


April 15, 2016

Introduced and assigned to the Senate Education Committee and scheduled to be heard on Thursday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. in SCR 356.