Bills Send Local Taxes to Other Districts

Posted 2/22/16

Bills being pushed through the legislative process would, in effect, send local tax dollars - money that was raised to support your community schools - to schools in other districts, something that our state constitution prohibits. The bills allow students to cross school district lines to attend charter and public schools in other districts; both state and local funding follow the student.

Legislators proposing these measures have devised a shell game that they say allows them to get around the constitutional provision intended to protect your local tax dollars.

The bills circumvent the constitution by deducting the equivalent amount of local taxes from a district's state funding and sending that amount to the other district (this is the shell game). Those who crafted the maneuver say that, because the dollars come from the state "pot" of money, it doesn't violate the constitution, but the effect is the same. It takes money that your community intended to invest in your schools and gives it to another school district.

Example:

Let's say Johnny's home school district (School District A) gets $4,000 per pupil in state funding, and the local school taxes amount to $3,000 per student. These bills would allow Johnny to attend a charter school in another school district (School District B), and would deduct $7,000 from School District A's state funding (the total of the state and local allocations) and send it to the charter school in School District B.