CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE REGAINS LOST LOCAL CONTROL THROUGH MEASURE No. 2
By HARVEY CHRISTIAN, Mandan | Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 2:00 am
The initiated Measure No. 2 on the June 2012 ballot will require the Legislature to fund K-12 schools not already funded by the Legislature and, "The state cannot condition the expenditure of this portion of elementary and secondary education funding in any manner and school boards have sole discretion in how to allocate the expenditures of this portion of the elementary and secondary funding provided." This ensures local control of 30 percent of K-12 expenditures.
During the legislative session (January-April 2009), your senators and representatives voted to have 70 percent of the cost of K-12 schools funded from the general fund. Unfortunately, they also provided that 70 percent of the additional funding had to be used to increase teacher salaries. While this may be appreciated, it stripped the local school board of control over the spending. Further, today 100 percent of total K-12 expenditures are under the control of the Department of Public Instruction through imposition of the State Accreditation Manual.
If passed, this measure will give local school boards complete control over 30 percent of their budget - an increase over what they currently have - which is none. The measure will increase local control over the schools our children attend.
All other funding from the Legislature to make up for the funding current raised through property taxes is required to "fully and properly fund the legally imposed obligations of the counties, cities, townships and other political sub-divisions." The measure goes on to state "how counties, cities, townships and other political subdivisions choose to allocate the expenditures of this revenue is at the sole direction of the governing bodies of counties, cities, townships and other political sub-divisions."
The measure provides that how the revenue provided by the Legislature is to be used is the "sole direction" of the local governing bodies. Do not be misled by the talking point that you will "lose local control." Read the initiative (www.empowerthetaxpayer.com).