State share of funding local schools drops slightly

Aug 9, 2018

In the current school year, the state of North Dakota's share of funding K-12 education dropped a bit.

"For '17-'18, it was about 75 percent state and 25 percent local," Department of Public Instruction director of school finance and organization Adam Tescher told the Legislature's interim Education Funding Committee.

The 2017 Legislature did not increase state aid to schools – but held it steady, while other agencies were reducing budgets. But Tescher told the Committee – local costs for schools still went up.

"State funding did get up to about 80 percent, with 20 percent local funding," Tescher said. "That's as high as we saw."

Tescher said as the payments flattened out, property taxes have increased, and picked up more of the share.

Tescher projects the “cost-to-continue,” to hold per pupil funding at the $9626 per student in the next biennium, would be another $60 million. That’s based on a projected growth of 3000 students in the 2019-2020 school year, and 3300 in the second year of the biennium.

The state now spends about $2 billion over a two year period on elementary and secondary education.