Members of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday unanimously endorsed legislation that bases state education funding on student enrollment, rather than an average of daily attendance.
The IEA testified in favor of the bill, House Bill 723, which passed the House in a 39-26 vote on March 4 and will now be considered by the full Senate, likely early next week.
“For years, education stakeholders have discussed the possibility of shifting Idaho’s education funding formula from average daily attendance to enrollment,” the IEA’s Caitlin Vasko told the committee. “But, like many things in our lives, it took the unprecedented chaos of the pandemic to help crystalize just how important this shift is for our public schools and students.”
Up and down attendance numbers during the pandemic forced lawmakers to temporarily shift funding for public schools over to an enrollment model in order to keep school district budgets whole. Vasko and other supporters of the bill said moving to enrollment-based funding provides more stable, predictable funding for Idaho’s schools.