Short ballot title: Initiative increasing K-12 education funding for local public schools by adding one percent to state sales tax.
Long ballot title: An initiative relating to K-12 public school funding; identifying the purpose of this initiative as providing adequate and stable funding for local K-12 public schools; adding one percent (1%) sales tax rate, effective July 1, 2007, or requiring legislature to develop alternative revenue stream for this component of K-12 local public school funding; creating the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund which, along with other revenue sources, will be used exclusively for K-12 public education, and which must be used for supporting students in the classroom and improving local schools; requiring annual accountability reports from local school boards on use of increased revenues; requiring that increased revenues in the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund augment, not replace, current K-12 public school support revenue, establishing the method to compute each year's general fund appropriation for public schools; providing for distribution of increased revenues through the current K-12 public school funding mechanism; requiring advisory revote on Act in year 2020; and containing a severability clause.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Idaho:
33-908. Title. This Act shall be entitled and may be referred to as "The Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Act."
33-909. Purpose. The people of the State of Idaho, having concluded that the provision of a high quality public education to Idaho school children is essential to the well-being 'of those school children and other citizens of this state; and that a greater investment in our local public schools will put money directly into the classroom by providing up-to-date classroom materials, textbooks and adequate supplies for students and staff, giving students in Idaho's local public schools sufficient options for either college preparatory courses or professional and technical training courses, reducing class sizes, and helping to attract and retain highly-qualified teachers and staff; and having determined the importance of state government paying its fair share for local public schools, including but not limited to improving Idaho's ranking of forty-fifth (45 th ) in the nation on education spending per student; and having further determined a greater investment in K-12 education will allow Idaho students to better compete for good-paying jobs; hereby establish by this initiative a mechanism for more adequate and stable funding to local school districts for public education at the K-12 level that will, unless modified, result in increased student achievement and affirm Idaho's commitment to a thorough and quality public education system as one of our highest priorities.
33-910. Increase Education Funding for all Local K-12 Public Schools with One Percent Added Back to State Sales and Use Tax Rate, Effective July 1, 2007. For the purpose of providing adequate and stable funding for Idaho's K-12 local public schools, effective July 1, 2007, the sales and use taxes imposed upon each sale or purchase subject to taxation under the Idaho Sales Tax Act, chapter 36, title 63, Idaho Code shall be returned from the current five percent (5%) rate to and be maintained at the six percent (6%) rate in effect on June 30, 2005.
Should the Idaho legislature increase the sales and use taxes before the effective date of this Act, the legislature shall be charged with developing an alternative state-based revenue stream that will provide a level of increased funding for K-12 local public schools that is at least equal to the amount of revenue that would have been generated by increasing the sales and use taxes as provided in this section while holding funding for all other existing public services harmless.
33-911. Creation of the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund. Notwithstanding the requirements of section 63-3638, Idaho Code, all of that portion of the increased revenues, after refunds or after compliance with section 63-3709, Idaho Code, derived from returning the sales and use taxes to the June 30, 2005 rate or from the alternative state-based revenue stream shall be placed in the "Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund" which is hereby created. All revenues placed in the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund, plus all other revenue amounts in the annual general account appropriation as provided in section 33-914, Idaho Code, shall be continuously appropriated and utilized for funding public education at the K-12 level. The provisions of this act shall include and apply to public charter schools.
33-912. Use of Enhanced Revenues. Local school districts shall spend one hundred percent (100%) of the revenues placed in the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund on any of the following items to support students in the classroom and improve local schools:
(1) Providing current and adequate classroom materials, such as textbooks and supplies, for students;
(2) Providing every high school student with the opportunity to take either college preparatory courses or professional and technical training courses;
(3) Reducing class sizes and preventing class size increases;
(4) Attracting and retaining highly-qualified teachers and other school employees, including but not limited to providing competitive salaries, offering continuing education opportunities, and providing support for new educators;
(5) Replacing out-of-date or broken technology such as computers that students need for individualized learning and access to information;
(6) Restoring local educational programs previously eliminated or reduced, enhancing existing educational programs, or providing new educational programs with the goal of ensuring that Idaho student achievement levels meet or exceed local, state and national standards and requirements;
(7) Providing classroom aides to help provide more individualized assistance to students;
(8) Providing support for arts and music education in all local public schools; and
(9) Paying for routine school maintenance to protect the public's investment and promote student safety.
33-913. Local Annual Accountability Reports on Use of Revenues. In addition to its annual audit and in order to provide information to the public about how revenues appropriated from the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund were used, at least once annually the board of trustees of each local public school district shall inssue a coument available and easily accessible to the general public identifying the items set forth in section 33-912, Idaho Code, for which such additional revenues were utilized and the impact of such utilization of public education at the K-12 level.
33-914. Annual General Account Appropriation Amount. In order to augment, rather than replace, K-12 public school support, the revenues in the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund are to be provided in addition to the state's general account appropriation to K-12 public schools and not in place of any part of that appropriation. To that end, the general account appropriation for K-12 public school support established during the 2006 legislative session shall constitute the initial base funding level for K-12 public schools. In every year thereafter, the general account appropriation for K-12 public school support shall consist, at minimum, of:
(a) the base funding amount for the prior year;
(b) dedicated endowment lands, lottery dividends and miscellaneous revenues, cigarette and lottery tax revenues, and federal funds;
(c) the revenues in the Idaho Local Public Schools Investment Fund;
(d) sufficient revenues to cover the cost of increased student enrollment; and
(e) an annual inflationary factor, based on the percentage change in the consumer price index for all urban consumers, as published by the bureau of labor statistics, United States department of labor, from December of the second previous year to December of the previous year.
The 2007 Idaho Legislature, in establishing the general account appropriation for K-12 public school support for fiscal year 2008, shall use the provisions of this Act, including the revenues anticipated from returning the sales and use taxes to six percent (6%) on July 1, 2007.
The general account appropriation for K-12 public school support may only be reduced in future years if there is a decline in student enrollment greater than ten percent (10%) statewide for two or more consecutive years.
33-915. Distribution of General Account Appropriation Amount. In every year, the general account appropriation for K-12 public school support, as determined in section 33-914, Idaho Code, shall be distributed to local K-12 public schools as provided in chapter 10, title 33, Idaho Code.
33-916. Public Reauthorization of This Act. To ensure the purpose of this Act is met and to provide the public the opportunity to determine if the provisions of this Act continue to meet the needs of Idaho's K-12 public schools, (a) the board of trustees of each local public school district is hereby directed to conduct a study and issue a cumulative public report by September 1, 2020 concerning the effectiveness of this Act and (b) the Idaho Legislature is hereby directed to place an advisory measure on the 2020 general election ballot asking the public whether the provisions of this Act shall be continued. The year 2020 is selected as the public reporting and voting year so that the public can consider the effectiveness of this Act based on an entire generation of Idaho school children having advanced through Idaho 's K-12 public school system.
33-917. Severability. If any portion, clause or phrase of this Act is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining portions, clauses or phrases shall not be affected, but shall remain in full force and effect.