The House passed three school finance bills Friday, but rejected legislation that would have extended an expiring provision of law that provides funding assistance for certain districts.

HB 30 by Rep. John Zerwas appropriates $1.9 billion to public schools through a deferral of funds into the following biennium. It includes $30 million in funding for a 2009 program for students with disabilities that was never funded. It is contingent on passage of HB 21 or similar school finance reform. The bill passed 131-11.

HB 23 by Rep. Dan Huberty creates a grant program for students with autism in an amount up to $10 million for each year of the biennium. It passed on a voice vote.

HB 21 by Huberty increases the basic allotment to districts and includes an increased transportation allotment, $215 million in funding for dyslexia programs, and assistance for districts that are losing funding due to the elimination of ASATR (additional state aid for tax reduction). The bill passed 130-12.

HB 22 by Rep. Ken King would extend the expiring ASATR funding for another two years, with a provision to eliminate ASATR funding for those districts least in need (districts receiving four percent or less of their funding from ASATR). Advocates for the bill were concerned that a handful of districts may actually close due to losing the ASATR assistance; others were concerned that if the bill passed in its current form, without a source of funding, it would be paid for by prorating payments to other districts. It failed on a 65-61 vote.