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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Senate Education Advances Capital Outlay Extension

Schools’ ability to use capital outlay funds could extend five more years. The state legislature allowed schools more flexibility in how they use their capital outlay funds following the economic downturn in 2009, and new legislation will allow it to continue until 2018. The current legislation is set to expire in 2014. The capital outlay fund of the school district is a fund provided by law to meet expenditures. Senator Bill Van Gerpen is the primary sponsor of the bill. He says schools are still doing a great job with limited funds.
“Any act we can do to support them (school districts) needs to be pursued. That’s what this bill basically does. It does not request any funding, but it asks for continued latitude in managing the funding that is provided to our local schools. This provides local management of our school funding, and I think local management is the best management,” Van Gerpen says.
Supporters of the bill agree that it allows school districts to use capital outlay funds to compensate for budget cuts. They say with the current economic situation, schools can only plan one year in advance, but having extra funds can help plan for the future. The Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 194 unopposed.