Local

Program Promotes Sharing

Photo: clipart.com

Program Promotes Sharing

An Iowa Department of Education official says the organization is taking a cautious approach in instituting updates to a program that provides school districts with extra state financial help if they share positions to cut costs. Department deputy director, Jeff Berger, says the program had been limited to sharing operational and maintenance positions. But, he says that appears to have changed with the renewal of the program by the Iowa Legislature.

Berger says the original law ramped down the additional funding by 20-percent over time, but the new version does not do that. The original bill only allowed for sharing between contiguous districts, but the new bill does not have that provision. Berger says the Education Department’s biggest question is if the bill is meant to help districts add new staff as part of a sharing arrangement.

Berger says the state could spend a minimum of 20-million-dollars to a maximum of 85-million dollars depending on the participation. The program currently spends 13-million dollars. Thirty-five percent of the program is paid for through property tax, so the expansion would be a hit to taxpayers.

The State Board of Education gave initial approval to the conservative rules for the update program at their meeting last week. The issue will now go to a public hearing and then to a legislative review committee.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Nebraska Unicameral and Governor Hold Contrasting Priorities

Fresh
nebraska-state-capital

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts was elected with a pledge of lowering property taxes as his highest priority.

in Local

Legislature Wrapping Up Session

Fresh
SD Capitol

South Dakota legislators are in Pierre today (Monday) for the final day of the 2015 session. The main run wrapped up on March 13th.

in Local

South Dakota Lawmakers Wrapping Up Session

Fresh
state capitol pierre

South Dakota lawmakers are back in Pierre today to wrap up the final day of the 2015 legislative session.

in Local

School Boards Collaborating Academics and Athletics

Fresh
School Books

Several school boards in south east South Dakota are having discussions about possible cooperative efforts that could include athletics and academics.

in Agriculture

Farmers Discuss Family Farms with Pope and Cardinals

Fresh
farm silos

Several Farmers Union leaders had an opportunity to have an audience with POPE Francis and meet with some Cardinals as well as with rural Italian groups recently.