Over thirty people were in attendance at Brookfield High School Tuesday night to hear a presentation on the pending budget crisis. Click to hear KMZU’s Bob Allen talk with Brookfield R-III Superintendent Paul Barger:

Paul Barger

Barger says the legislature may adjust the State Adequacy Target and Dollar Value Modifier, but that in itself would not help schools in the state labeled “held harmless”.  The designation means that when the state established the new funding formula in 2007, a district receiving less money through the new formula would revert to the old formula.  Brookfield has been “held harmless” since the implementation of the 2007 formula.  If the legislature would change the the two figures, it wouldn’t change what money “held harmless” schools receive.  However, if the legislature cannot come up with a way to fund education 100%, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would split whatever dollars they receive equally across the state, regardless of the “held harmless” designation.  That would likely mean that all districts are projected to receive between 78-80% of the state funding they currently receive, which would cripple many school systems.  Brookfield could see anywhere between nearly $400,000 in windfall or a loss of more than $500,000 depending on the results of the regular legislative session that is scheduled to conclude on May 11th, 2012.

Barger hopes to change public perception about education in the 21st century through open discussion about what skills today’s students will need in tomorrow’s world.  Barger spoke to those in attendance at Tuesday’s informational session about how the state arrived in its current predicament and what Brookfield R-III could be facing because of it.  He asked residents to consider what they think is essential and what is not.  A second forum with focused small group discussion on the topic will be held on November 10th at 6:30 in the district conference room at Brookfield High School.