The South Dakota Legislature has passed a FY2014 budget increasing state aid to K-12 general education by 4.9%, to $330 million. That's still 1.5% less than the amount appropriated in the FY2009 budget.
The public school lobbyists think the Legislature did a nice job this year. But thanks to the rotten job the Legislature has done for many more years, the Brookings school district may have to pass another opt-out to meet its students' needs:
... enrollment has steadily increased since 2005–2005, adding 365 students between then and now. Projected kindergarten enrollments for the coming years show the trend continuing.
[Superintendent Roger] DeGroot said a new PreK-3 school is necessary due to crowded conditions at Medary and Hillcrest, the district's two K-3 schools.
...The district could use half of its "growth money"—state funding for each additional student beyond the number now enrolled—to pay these costs, but that would quickly eat into its fund balance. DeGroot said if the district does open a new school and add staff, it should look for an additional funding source [Charis Prunty, "BSD Ready to Move on New PreK-3 School," Brookings Register, 2013.03.09].
And Brookings isn't expecting the state to be that source. The state's cuts have already forced Brookings to hamstring teacher salaries and increase their workloads, so "efficiencies" won't save the day. So expect tonight's school board discussion of future facility needs to include a bond issue and a second opt-out for the Brookings school district... options they might not have to discuss if the Legislature's formula for per-student aid aligned with the reality of the cost of educating our children.
Yeah, nice job, Pierre. Bravo.