SB 0795 School Aid; School Taxes on Railroads; Career Ladder
LR Number:L2900.09T Fiscal Note:2900-09
Last Action:06/11/96 - Signed by Governor
Title:HCS/SS/SCS/SBs 795, 542 & 563
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
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Current Bill Summary

HCS/SS/SCS/SBs 795, 542 & 563 - This act makes several changes affecting public schools.

SCHOOL TAX REVENUE FROM RAILROAD AND UTILTY PROPERTY - Under current law, school tax revenues from state assessed railroad and utility property are collected and redistributed at the county level until the 1996-97 school year, when these revenues will be distributed through the state school aid formula. This act would remove the provision calling for redistribution through the state school aid formula, leaving the distribution of railroad taxes at the county level for all future years. This portion of the act is identical to SB 542 and SB 563.

REASSESSMENT AND STATE SCHOOL AID - Currently the guaranteed tax base (GTB) is the ninety-fifth percentile wealth per pupil for the preceding year. The act establishes the GTB to be equal to two and one hundred sixty-seven thousandths times the state average equalized assessed valuation per pupil for the third preceding school year.

Penalties paid after July 1, 1995 by a concentrated animal feeding operation shall not be included as a local wealth deduction when determining state school aid payments.

The act limits the income factor applied on assessed valuation increases above a district's assessed valuation as of December 31, 1994 to be no greater than one. This income factor is applied to the state aid deduction for local school property tax revenues.

For any district which has not enacted a voluntary tax rate rollback nor increased the amount of a voluntary tax rate rollback from the previous year, the tax rate used to determine a district's state aid entitlement shall be adjusted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education so that any decrease in the entitlement due to a decrease in the tax rate required because of reassessment shall equal the decrease in the deduction for the assessed valuation of the district as a result of the change in the tax rate due to reassessment. This tax rate adjustment shall be cumulative and shall be applied each year to determine the tax rate used to calculate the entitlement unless the actual current operating levy exceeds the tax rate so calculated, after which the prior tax rate adjustments shall be eliminated.

A school board may levy the $2.75 minimum levy less any adjustments for reassessment required under Article X, Section 22 of the Missouri Constitution, so long as that levy does not exceed the highest tax rate in effect since the 1980 tax year.

The act terminates, on July 1, 1997, existing law which allows a district required, due to reassessment, to reduce its operating levy below the $2.75 minimum levy to continue to receive state aid as if the district levied the $2.75 minimum levy.

CAPITAL PROJECTS - The act would phase out the current requirement, in Section 164.011, RSMo, to place school tax levy increases first in the capital projects levy to the extent needed to satisfy capital needs. This provision was enacted in SB 676 from 1994, along with an allowance of a transfer of revenue (equal to twenty-four cents times the guaranteed tax base) from the incidental fund to the capital projects fund. The requirement will be reduced by allowing a fraction of the current transfer to be accounted for prior to assigning levy increase to the capital projects fund. The fraction of the transfer allowed shall be one-twelfth for 1996-97, one-sixth for 1997-98, one-half for 1998-99 and the full amount beginning in 1999-2000. Also, beginning in 1996-97, transfers for "grandfathered" lease purchases under section 165.011, RSMo, may also be accounted for prior to assigning levy increases to the capital projects levy. The capital projects levy does not generate state aid. This portion of the act is similar to SB 778 from 1996.

A district which has a levy no greater than $2.75 and a grandfathered lease purchase under section 165.011, RSMo, may make transfers from the incidental fund to cover the grandfathered obligation, plus the twenty-four cents allowed under subsection 4 of section 165.011.

A school district may transfer the interest earned from the capital projects fund from the capital projects fund to the incidental fund, unless placement of this interest is otherwise provided for in law.

MINIMUM SALARY PAYMENTS FOR TEACHERS - The act would allow certain districts to continue to qualify for state minimum salary payments for teachers. The funding shall be sufficient to allow qualifying districts to comply with minimum salary requirements. Qualifying districts shall only receive funding for three years. To qualify, a district shall meet the criteria specified in the act. Such school districts shall continue to spend no less on teacher salaries than they did prior to receiving such funds. Such school districts shall not receive additional funds due to annexation of another school district, nor shall the annexed district become eligible for such funds due to annexation if the annexation occurs no earlier than the year prior to the first district becoming eligible for such funds under this act.

SALARY EXPENDITURES FOR TEACHERS - The act removes the provisions enacted in SB 380 from 1993 and SB 676 from 1994 regarding expenditures on salaries for certificated, nonadministrative staff.

A school district shall expend as a percentage of current operating cost, for compensation and benefits of certificated staff, for the 1994-95 and 1995-96 school years, no less than three percentage points less than the base year salary percentage, and for the 1996-97 school year, no less than two percentage points less than the base year salary percentage. The base year salary percentage shall be the two year average percentage of the 1991-92 and 1992-93 school years. A school district which has at least a three percent average increase in attendance over three consecutive years may elect to have a base school year certificated salary percentage established using the average expenditure percentage of the last two years of the three year period.

Beginning with the 1997-98 school year, a district shall keep an unrestricted fund balance in the combined incidental and teachers funds on June 30 which is equal to or less than ten percent of the combined expenditures for the year from those funds, or the district shall expend, as a percentage of current operating cost for compensation and benefits of certificated staff, a percentage that is no less than two percentage points less than the base year salary percentage.

The State Board of Education may exempt a school district from the requirements pertaining to compensation and fund balances for a school year upon receiving a request by a school district. Any school district requesting an exemption must provide notice to certain organizations as specified in the act. A school district may requrest a one-time, permanent revision of the base school year certificated salary percentage.

Any school district which violates the requirements of the act regarding compensation and benefits or fund balances, shall compensate the school administrative staff and teachers during the year following the violation by one hundred and ten percent of the amount necessary to bring the district into compliance for the year of violation.

A hold harmless district shall be exempt from all teacher compliance requirements under section 165.016, RSMo, if the district receives less than fifty percent of the state average per pupil payment amount during the previous year.

The portion of the act pertaining to salary expenditures for teachers is similar to SB 852.

CAREER LADDER - The act revises the Missouri Career Development and Teacher Excellence Plan also known as Career Ladder which provides career pay as a salary supplement for public school teachers.

The act establishes the "Career Ladder Forward Funding Fund" to which funds may be appropriated. At such time as the balancein the fund is equal to or greater than the appropriation for Career Ladder for the following year, the the revenues shall be used to fund the Career Ladder Program in advance of the school year.

Participating teachers shall be required to meet career step qualification criteria and failure to complete professional requirements for each stage may be grounds for denial of career pay authorized under the district plan. All teachers in a district in the same Career Ladder stage shall receive equal salary supplements.

The state shall provide matching funds for career pay to school districts based upon a new schedule. The state portion is based upon a district's adjusted equalized assessed valuation per eligible pupil for the second preceding school year (district's AV). In distributing these matching funds, school districts shall be ranked by the district's AV from the highest to the lowest and placed into groups. Group one shall contain the highest twenty-five percent of districts based on AV. The remaining seventy-five percent of school districts shall be rank ordered from largest to smallest based on enrollment and placed in groups two and three. Group two shall contain the highest twenty-five percent of these school districts based on enrollment, and group three shall contain the remaining fifty percent of all public school districts. State and local funding shall be provided for the groups as follows:

GROUP % of Districts % State Funding % Local Funding 1 25% 40% 60% 2 25% 50% 50% 3 50% 60% 40%

Beginning in the 1996-97 school year, any school district which participated in the Career Ladder program in 1995-96 and paid less than the local funding percentage required under this act shall increase its local share of Career Ladder costs by five percentage points from the preceding year until the district pays the percentage share of cost required by the act. Any district not participating in the 1995-96 school year or any district which interrupts its Career Ladder program for any subsequent year must enter the program on the cost sharing basis required by the act. The state shall continue to pay the same percentage for supplements for each teacher participating in the Career Ladder Program in the 1995-96 school year so long as the teacher remains eligible and continues to participate in the program.

The act provides that career pay shall also be provided to school psychological examiners, parents as teachers educators, school psychologists, special education diagnosticians and speech pathologists in the state schools for the severely handicapped, the Missouri School for the Blind and the Missouri School for the Deaf.

The portion of the act pertaining to Career Ladder is similar to SB 978.