SENATE BILL 96

54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020

INTRODUCED BY

Jacob R. Candelaria

 

 

 

 

 

AN ACT

RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE; CREATING MANDATORY CONTENTS FOR AN ONLINE SCHOOL BUDGET REPORTING SYSTEM; PRESCRIBING DUTIES FOR THE PUBLIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT; CREATING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS; CREATING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE-CHARTERED CHARTER SCHOOLS; PRESCRIBING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING COSTS; REQUIRING ANNUAL REPORTS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS ON ADDITIONAL LOCAL REVENUE DISTRIBUTIONS; CREATING A FUND; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:

     SECTION 1. Section 22-8-7 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1967, Chapter 16, Section 61, as amended) is amended to read:

     "22-8-7. [MANNER OF BUDGET SUBMISSION] BUDGETS--MANDATORY CONTENTS.--[All budgets submitted by a school district, locally chartered charter school or state-chartered charter school shall be in a manner specified by the department]

          A. No later than July 1, 2021, the department, with input from the legislative finance committee, shall establish, implement and maintain a statewide financial, student management and human resource electronic data communications and reporting system that is based on a redesigned standard chart of accounts, a standard information system and a standard personnel classification system. The department, locally chartered charter schools, state-chartered charter schools, school districts and regional education cooperatives in the state shall use the system to report and obtain necessary financial information.

          B. In designing, implementing and maintaining the reporting system pursuant to Subsection A of this section, the department shall adhere to the following guidelines:

                (1) the reporting system shall be based on a redesigned standard chart of accounts that will make school-to-school and school-district-to-school-district comparisons accurate and meaningful;

                (2) the reporting system shall provide standard definitions for employment positions such that full, accurate disclosure of administrative costs is made within the budgets and the financial statements of every school district;

                (3) the reporting system shall make it possible to collect comparable data by program and school site; and

                (4) the reporting system shall make it possible to collect educational program units by school site, including at-risk units, bilingual multicultural education program units and special education program units.

          C. The standard chart of accounts shall include the reporting of revenues received at all levels, including local, state and federal funds.

          D. As used in this section, "reporting system" means a statewide financial, student management and human resource electronic data communications and reporting system."

     SECTION 2. A new section of the Public School Finance Act is enacted to read:

     "[NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--Sections 2 through 6 of this act may be cited as the "Education Funding Transparency Act"."

     SECTION 3. A new section of the Public School Finance Act is enacted to read:

     "[NEW MATERIAL] FINANCIAL BUDGET REPORTING TRANSPARENCY--WEBSITE CREATION--DUTIES FOR DEPARTMENT--DUTIES FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS.--

          A. The department shall issue a request for proposals and contract for the creation of a website view that, at a minimum, translates the expenditures for each of the major categories specified in the chart of accounts for school sites, school districts, locally chartered charter schools, state-chartered charter schools and regional education cooperatives as posted on the website maintained by each local education provider pursuant to Subsection C of this section into a format that is readable by a layperson. The department and the entity with which the department contracts, if any, shall work with the legislative finance committee and the department of finance and administration in designing the presentation of data on the website view to ensure the greatest degree of clarity and comparability by laypersons of expenditures among school sites, school districts, locally chartered charter schools, state-chartered charter schools and boards of regional education cooperative services.

          B. The department shall ensure that the website created pursuant to Subsection A of this section is available to the public no later than July 1, 2021 and is updated annually.

          C. On July 1, 2021, and each following year, every local education provider shall post the following information online, in a downloadable format, for free public access:

                (1) the local education provider's annual budget, adopted pursuant to Section 22-8-11 NMSA 1978, commencing with the budget for fiscal year 2021;

                (2) the local education provider's annual audited financial statements, prepared pursuant to the Audit Act commencing with the audits prepared for the previous fiscal year;

                (3) the local education provider's salary schedules or policies, commencing with those applicable to fiscal year 2021; and

                (4) the local education provider's actual expenditures, which may include actual salary expenditures and actual benefit expenditures reported by job category specified in the standard chart of accounts, at the local education provider level and at the school site level.

          D. Each local education provider shall update the information specified in Paragraphs (1) through (3) of Subsection C of this section within sixty days after the local education provider completion or receipt of the applicable report, statement or document. Each local education provider shall update the information specified in Paragraph (4) of Subsection C of this section annually by a date specified by the department.

          E. No later than July 1, 2021, the department shall create a template for voluntary use by a local education provider that may need assistance with the online posting of the information specified in Subsection C of this section. The template may include both the type of electronic file posted as well as the information to be included in the posting. The department may take into consideration any existing templates or reports developed by the department for purposes of financial reporting.

          F. As used in this section, "local education provider" means a locally chartered charter school, state-chartered charter school, school district or regional education cooperative."

     SECTION 4. A new section of the Public School Finance Act is enacted to read:

     "[NEW MATERIAL] CHARTER SCHOOLS--ACCOUNTING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION COSTS.--Within ninety days after the end of each fiscal year, each school district shall provide to each state-chartered charter school located within the school district an itemized accounting of all the actual special education costs that the school district incurred for the applicable fiscal year and the basis of any per pupil charges for special education that the school district imposed against the charter school for the applicable fiscal year."

     SECTION 5. A new section of the Public School Finance Act is enacted to read:

     "[NEW MATERIAL] ADDITIONAL LOCAL REVENUES--DISTRIBUTION TO SCHOOLS--ANNUAL REPORT.--

          A. For fiscal year 2021 and each fiscal year thereafter, each school district shall report the total amount of additional local property tax revenues the school district is authorized to collect in addition to the school district's total program mill levy and the amount of the additional local property tax revenues that the school district distributes directly to schools of the school district, stated as a dollar amount.

          B. The department shall annually compile a report of the information received pursuant to Subsection A of this section concerning the collection of additional local property tax revenues by each school district and the distribution of the revenues to the schools of the school district, including state-chartered charter schools. In addition to the compiled information, the report shall include a comparison of the amount of additional local property tax revenues received by the school district and the amount distributed to the schools of the school district, including state-chartered charter schools, at the district level and aggregated statewide.

          C. The department shall allow each school district and each state-chartered charter school in the school district to review the report before publication. A school district and each state-chartered charter school located within the school district may request that the department compile an addendum to the report that is specific to the requesting school district and each state-chartered charter school located within the school district and that examines the overall level of funding distributed by the school district to the state-chartered charter schools of the school district, including:

                (1) capital construction and facilities funding; 

                (2) funding for technology; and

                (3) any other funding that the school district distributes to the state-chartered charter schools of the school district.

          D. The department shall simultaneously publish on the department's website the report and any addenda prepared for the report in response to school district or state-chartered charter school request."

     SECTION 6. A new section of the Public School Finance Act is enacted to read:

     "[NEW MATERIAL] FINANCIAL REPORTING FUND--CREATED--PURPOSE.--

          A. The "financial reporting fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations, transfers, earnings from investment of the fund, gifts, grants and donations. Money in the fund at the end of fiscal year 2022 shall revert to the public education reform fund. The secretary of public education shall administer the fund, and money in the fund is appropriated to the department to administer the provisions of the Education Funding Transparency Act. Money in the fund shall be disbursed on warrants signed by the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of public education or the secretary's authorized representative.

          B. The state treasurer may invest money from the fund that is unexpended or unencumbered as provided by law, in accordance with the prudent investor rule set forth in the Uniform Prudent Investor Act. Income from investment of the fund shall be credited to the fund."

     SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION.--Three million dollars ($3,000,000) is appropriated from the public education reform fund to the financial reporting fund for expenditure in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to carry out the provisions of the Education Funding Transparency Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2022 shall revert to the public education reform fund."

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