Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SEEK Guarantee: What Did the Governor Propose?

| Post by Susan Perkins Weston |

In his State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday evening, Governor Bevin proposed a budget that maintains the $3,981 guarantee per pupil. Simultaneously, the Governor published his detailed budget proposal, showing:

  • 2,070,081,900 as SEEK base funding for the 2018 fiscal year happening now
  • 2,065,477,600 for fiscal 2019
  • 2,054,139,300 for fiscal 2020

That is, the Governor proposed to cut state SEEK base funding by:

  •  $4.6 million for fiscal 2019
  •  $11.4 more million for fiscal 2020

That can work. The per pupil guarantee can stay the same while state funding shrinks.

The key is that local school districts also contribute to SEEK: they raise the required 30¢ tax per $100 of taxable property. The state role pays the rest of the amount: it guarantees that each district will end up with the same base amount.

Here’s an illustration, showing three years of the same $3,981 guarantee. The state really can pay less if local property values and tax revenue go up.

So, yes, Governor Bevin’s proposal on SEEK base fits together if local property values are indeed rising and rising faster than average daily attendance.  That's why the proposal assumes the state can provide the same guarantee while paying out fewer state dollars.

This November Prichblog post offers a systematic explanation of how the full SEEK formula, including the guarantee, add-ons, Tier 1 equalized dollars, and Tier 2 unequalized dollars, fits together.

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