School Board President Andrew Bagley testified before the Academic Facilities Oversight Committee of the Arkansas Legislature this week on proposed changes to the formula to determine partnership funding for future facilities.

 

School Board President Andrew Bagley testified before the Academic Facilities Oversight Committee of the Arkansas Legislature this week on proposed changes to the formula to determine partnership funding for future facilities.

Bagley focused on the proposed changes on computation of the wealth index, which determines the percentage of funding for approved projects. A committee of school board members, architects, contractors, and school administrators is recommending changing the formula to include a component that factors in individual income of those living in the school districts in addition to the components of local property wealth of enrollment.

Bagley said, “The current formula works against districts like the Helena-West Helena School District. For example, our property assessments could remain steady and we could lose a few students and the current formula would say we were a richer district. I don’t know any rational person that believes the Helena-West Helena School District is richer today because our enrollment is smaller.”

Bagley added, “The proposed change to include a consideration of the actual income of those living in the district will benefit HWHSD and all of the similarly situated districts in this part of the state.”

Interim Superintendent Linda English was pleased Bagley received a request to testify before the legislative committee. She said, “It is important for our district to have a seat at the table and I want to express my appreciation for Mr. Bagley’s willingness to sacrifice his time on behalf of our district and its students.”

Local legislators also expressed gratitude for Bagley’s input. State Rep. Reginald Murdock (D-Marianna), who is very active on education issues in the legislature said, “The Helena-West Helena School District has no greater friend than Andrew Bagley. When I saw this issue was coming up, I knew Mr. Bagley would be an effective advocate for Helena and for the Delta. His knowledge of these issues is impeccable.”

State Rep. Chris Richey added, “Mr. Bagley is known for having considerable knowledge of these issues and I appreciate his hard work for our schools and am always interested in his input on education issues.”

The state legislature will have to make a final decision on this issue soon.