Stinky House Bill 1150 made its first step toward passage yesterday. The House Education Committee passed it 9–5.
To review, this bill reduces the amount of state funding some schools will get for students who open enroll into their district. Right now, each school gets a set amount of money for each enrolled student based on its size, with smaller schools getting an adjustment to make up for greater cost per student in smaller settings. For example, the state gives more aid per student at Montrose than at West Central, regardless of whether the student is a "native" or an open-enrollee. HB 1150 says that if Montrose attracts a student from West Central, Montrose only gets the state aid the student would have drawn at West Central, not the increased amount a regular student at Montrose warrants.
In other words, HB 1150 punishes small schools for success. Go ahead, Montrose, Rutland, et al., provide a better education. Convince parents in Hartford and Madison that you can teach their kids better than the big town. You'll pay for it.
District 8 legislator Mitch Fargen voted against the bill. His District 8 counterpart Gerry Lange still has his name on the bill. Let's hope Gerry changes his mind before the bill hits the House floor. Punishing small schools for success is not the right way for the state to save money.
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