House Bill 452

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February 7, 2024

Those of you who are legislative junkies may have noticed House Bill 452. This bill is legislation that proposes an update to IDLA’s funding formula. “Why is IDLA updating their funding formula?” you may ask yourself. Here’s the “why” behind House Bill 452.

IDLA’s Strategic Plan Goal 6.1 states, “Ensure IDLA sustainability through fiscal responsibility and operational efficiency.” While IDLA’s current funding formula provides the funding necessary to serve Idaho schools, it can sometimes be difficult to predict each year. It also uses a formula that is difficult to understand. House Bill 452 proposes solutions to these concerns while providing a stable funding source for IDLA’s future. Here are a few reasons why House Bill 452 is good for IDLA.

A right-sized formula. IDLA’s current funding formula comprises a base amount and an amount distributed per student we serve. Moving forward, House Bill 452 proposes to allocate funding to IDLA solely based on the number of students we serve. This method of financing ensures that IDLA’s budget is always “right-sized.” If the need for services is greater, the funding allows for growth. If the need for services is lesser, the funding will be reduced to meet the actual need. This formula is good for IDLA, our public schools and charters, and the taxpayers of Idaho.

Clear and transparent. Our taxpayers supporting IDLA and the legislators appropriating funds for IDLA, should be able to easily understand IDLA’s funding. The current formula, while effective, is difficult to understand. The proposed formula in House Bill 452 is simple. You should be able to do the math on a napkin. This formula eliminates any questions or confusion from a more complex formula.

Funding for schools. IDLA’s current funds come from five different sources within the State Department of Education’s budget for public schools. A small portion of funds intended for public school use are redirected to support IDLA. IDLA supports full funding for public schools. House Bill 452 ensures that 100% of dollars appropriated for public schools go to public schools. Dollars appropriated for IDLA will be separate but still support the organization’s ability to grow and expand to meet evolving needs.

No legislation is perfect. No funding formula is perfect. However, House Bill 452 provides IDLA and the state of Idaho an improved, efficient, and effective funding mechanism. If you have questions about IDLA’s funding, please reach out! You can reach me using the following contact information.

Jeff Simmons
(208) 994-4988 (call or text)

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