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House passes omnibus education bill

SHARE House passes omnibus education bill

After nearly two hours of debate the House voted in favor of the omnibus education bill which includes a dozen education funding measures.

However, House legislators amended a controversial charter measure in SB2 that failed to pass the House earlier this session.

Originally HB278, which was roped into the omnibus bill, would require school districts to provide an allocation of property tax revenues for each resident student attending a charter school — meaning the student's home-district funding would follow him to whatever school he chose to attend, even if it is located outside the district. Currently the state foots the bill for charter funding but leaders say that tab is getting a little too steep as charter schools multiply across the state.

The bill would provide a four year phase in to school district contribution to charter funding — the first year would require districts to kick in 25 percent of the full funding.

However, under the changes districts would only contribute that first 25 percent to charter schools, cutting out the additional three years of the phase-in.

Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley, and sponsor of HB278, said he supported the change but would later address the charter funding issue this summer after soliciting additional input from school leaders.

The bill will now go back to the Senate for approval of the amendments made in the House.