Lepke not happy with governor’s proposal
Published: Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Gov. Dennis Daugaard last Tuesday, Dec. 4, proposed a $4.1 billion state budget to the Legislature that would include modest spending increases on schools, health care and public worker salaries but wouldn't make up for last year's deep spending cuts.
Schools will receive a three percent increase to K-12 education and a $15,884,768 increase to funding state-wide in the form of increased per-student allocations, which translates to an increase of about $134 per student.
“We haven’t done any preliminary budget figures yet, but we intend to start doing that very soon,” said Scott Lepke, superintendent of Custer schools. “I’m not super happy with the proposed budget. The three percent is what the state has to give us by law anyway.”
Custer County’s consumer price index (CPI) was a little over three percent. School districts receive the CPI or three percent, whichever is less.
“Our revenue will be a wash from where it’s at this year. There won’t be added revenue from the increase,” Lepke said.
Lepke also said the increase would not get the district where it was in 2009, with an allocation rate of $4,664.66.
“Gov. Daugaard is using the baseline of $4,492 for the increase,” he said. “That’s nowhere near where we were. He should go back to where we were.”
Gov. Daugaard’s budget also proposed increases to a few funds for schools, such as the extraordinary cost fund, which schools use for disability education. The increase will help cover educational and teacher costs, which some districts struggle with. There was also an increase in technology to increase bandwidth to allow students to take new online assessments, as well as an increase for educational software and advanced placement classes.
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