Centennial Connects with Legislators on Funding Needs and Priorities

January 21, 2022

Centennial administrators and members of the school board met with Senator Roger Chamberlain and Representatives Donald Raleigh and Nolan West on Thursday, January 20, 2022 to discuss the educational needs and priorities of the district. 

Centennial's Legislative Platform

Ensure that educational funding basic formula includes inflationary adjustments:

● The basic formula has not kept up with inflation and is the largest source of funding.
● ESSER funding allocations were not equitable; our students have the same needs.
● Remove the cap on the long-term facilities maintenance revenue and expand its allowed uses.
● Allow locally elected school boards to renew existing and operating levies.

Utilize a portion of state budget surplus to equalize funding to districts who did not receive comparable funding from the first round of federal funding. 

Provide supplemental funding to districts that received lower COVID funding.

Ensure property tax equalization between school districts to provide funding formulas that does not disproportionately impact school districts and the student educational experience: 

● Taxpayers in low-property wealth districts struggle to afford school levies, which creates funding inequities among districts.
● A student’s zip code should not determine the quality of education the child receives.
● This unfair tax advantage for high-wealth districts results in significant disparities in educational opportunities.

Create a funding formula that works toward fully funding special education:

● Federal or state governments have never funded the entire cost of mandated special education services.
● We are mandated to provide the services by state and federal laws.
● The cross subsidy (i.e., general fund cost) to Centennial for providing special education services is $5 million.
● This school year, more than 1,000 Centennial students receive special educational services.

Authorize school districts to assess and recover all applicable costs of fulfilling public data requests:   

● We are receiving an increasing number of requests for public data.
● The current law does not allow us to recover all district costs.
● The cost of retrieving and preparing can be significant.
● This requires us to redirect district resources to fulfill the requests.