Special session may be called for $28 million mistake

The Utah Legislature will be meeting in a special session, perhaps as early as next month, to correct a budget error. A $28 million mistake was made in the calculation to fund new student growth when schools open next fall.

Jonathan Ball, the legislature’s chief budget officer, says the error occurred in the translation between what his office uses in calculating per-student funding in the $3 billion public education budget and the State Office of Education’s conversion of those numbers into the actual Weighted Pupil Unit, the per-student formula the school districts rely on.

Ball says there must be an actual transfer of money between budget funds and that cannot be legally done without legislative action. Under the Utah Constitution only the Governor can call a special session. The governor also sets the agenda.

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