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Published on Thursday, December 17, 2015

School Siting Task Force wraps up

As we noted in a previous Bulletin article, last year’s capital budget directed the creation of a legislative task force to look at the siting challenges facing school districts in the state, particularly those that feel they have a difficult time securing usable land within the urban growth areas of their community. AWC was a member of the Task Force along with a number of legislators, school district representatives, and others.

The Task Force was only able to meet three times given the short time frame (due to the extra-long, 6-month legislative session). In the end the Task Force did produce a brief report, but it did not reach any consensus on recommendations to the Legislature. Instead, the report outlines the issues that were discussed and provides a list of “potential recommendations” that the Legislature could consider. You can find a link to the final report, as well as more information about the Task Force here.

From AWC’s perspective, what became most clear from the task force discussion is that there is not broad agreement on what the problems are when it comes to school siting and whether any particular challenges can best be solved through legislation.

Nevertheless, we do expect bills related to school siting to come forward in 2016. It’s too soon to tell whether any of them will gain traction.