State Education Fund Report (2015)
The forecast for the State Education Fund and the level of General Fund appropriations needed to pay for school finance have changed from when the General Assembly adjourned in May 2014. Property values are expected to grow more rapidly over the next few years, helping to boost the local contribution to school finance. Similarly, income tax receipts continue to grow, increasing deposits into the State Education Fund and the General Fund. This report assumes the 2015 supplemental school finance bill is adopted, the value of the negative factor remains at $880 million, and the balance in the State Education Fund is reduced to $300 million in FY 2015-16 and $100 million in FY 2016-17. As a result, General Fund support for school finance will need to increase 5.8 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively, in the next two budget years. This entails year-over-year increases in General Fund support for school finance of $183 million in FY 2015-16, and $334 million in FY 2016-17. The Governor's proposal to provide additional one-time funding of almost $200 million in FY 2015-16 would reduce the SEF balance to almost $100 million, requiring an increase in General Fund support for school finance of $524 million in FY 2016-17.