Local Taxpayers Will Continue to Shoulder Burden Under Amended HB 21

The following statement on House Bill 21, the school finance bill, should be attributed to Dr. Guy Sconzo, Executive Director, Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC):

“While we appreciate the Senate’s willingness to assist rapidly growing school districts, the fact remains that the $60 million for Existing Debt Allotment (EDA) in House Bill 21 benefits very few school districts that are considered fast growth.

“The EDA program, created in the late 1990s, is in desperate need of an overhaul. Therefore, most fast growth districts — where 80 percent of new student population growth resides — are no longer eligible for the EDA program. This means a continued and increasing burden on local taxpayers.

“Additionally, we remain strongly opposed to the charter facilities portion of HB 21 which is essentially a blank check for charters. Make no mistake: funding for charter facilities would mean less funding for local property tax relief and for fast growth school facilities.

“Local taxpayers will only see real property tax relief when the state funds its public school system sufficiently, including school district facilities.”

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