For Immediate Release
January 7, 2016
Contact: Pad McCracken, Legislative Research Analyst, 406-444-3595
The School Funding Interim Commission is holding its second meeting of the interim, a 3-day meeting January 11-13 in room 102 of the Capitol. The commission is focusing on four main areas of concern related to school funding: recruitment and retention of qualified teachers, administrators, and staff; school facilities; special education; and district structure and boundaries. Presentations on these topics will be followed by discussions with stakeholders and the public. Ultimately, the commission is tasked with issuing a report on the commission's findings and recommendations, including any draft legislation for amending the state school funding formula, in advance of the 2017 legislative session.
The School Funding Interim Commission was created by Senate Bill 128 and fulfilled an existing statutory requirement that the legislature, at least every ten years authorize a "study to reassess the educational needs and costs related to the basic system of free quality public elementary and secondary schools." Legislators serving on the commission are Senators Elsie Arntzen (Vice Chair), R-Billings; Tom Facey (Chair), D-Missoula; Kristin Hansen, R-Havre; Mary Sheehy Moe, D-Great Falls; Matthew Rosendale, R-Glendive; and Lea Whitford, D-Cut Bank; and Representatives Jeff Essmann, R-Billings; Don Jones, R-Billings; Kathy Kelker, D-Billings; Debra Lamm, R-Livingston; Edie McClafferty, D-Butte; and Susan Webber, D-Browning. The four public commissioners are former legislator Dave Lewis of Helena; Aidan Myhre, chair of the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees; Patricia Hubbard, chief financial officer of Billings Public Schools; and Renee Rasmussen, superintendent of Bainville Public School.
For more information on the commission’s activities and upcoming meeting, visit the commission’s website at www.leg.mt.gov/sfc