The NCSL Blog

22

By Joellen Kralik and Dustin Weeden

kids on school stepsAs the days become cooler and the election season heats up, voters in 12 states will consider education-related ballot initiatives, referenda, and constitutional amendments.

Pre-K Through 12

  • California Proposition 51 would authorize $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K–12 public school facilities, charter schools and vocational education facilities, and California Community Colleges facilities.
  • California Prop 58 would repeal Proposition 227 (of 1998), thereby removing restrictions on using non-English languages in public instruction.
  • Georgia Amendment 1 would authorize the state to implement Senate Bill 133, forming an Opportunity School District to govern chronically failing schools.  
  • Maine Question 2 would add a 3 percent surcharge on the portion of any household income exceeding $200,000 per year. Revenue would be earmarked to fund public education.
  • Massachusetts Question 2 would authorize the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education per year. Current law in Massachusetts puts a variety of caps on charter school growth.
  • Missouri Amendment 3 would increase the state’s tax on cigarettes, raising it by 15 cent increments from 17 cents to 77 cents by 2020. At least 75 percent of the revenue generated from this tax would go toward increasing access to early childhood education programs, with the rest going toward health care facilities and smoking prevention programs. Another measure on the same ballot in Missouri (Proposition A) would tax cigarettes and send the funds to transportation and infrastructure projects.  
  • North Dakota Measure 2 would authorize the legislature to allocate excess revenues from oil extraction taxes from the foundation aid stabilization fund for education purposes.  
  • Oregon Measure 98 would require the Oregon State Legislature to fund dropout-prevention and career and college readiness programs in Oregon High schools.  
  • Oregon Measure 99 would create a fund to provide outdoor school programs state wide through the Oregon Lottery Economic Development. The fund would be administered by Oregon State University.  
  • Utah Amendment B would modify certain provisions and language relating to distribution, investment, and expenditure for the State School Fund and the Uniform School Fund.

Postsecondary Education

  • Alabama Amendment 1 would add two new members to the Auburn University Board of Trustees and ensure that terms of no more than three members expire in the same year.  
  • Alaska Measure 2 would amend the state constitution to allow the state to contract for state debt for postsecondary student loans. Voter approval would be required for any state debt issued for postsecondary student loan.  
  • California Proposition 51 would authorize $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K–12 public school facilities, charter schools and vocational education facilities, and California Community Colleges facilities.  
  • Louisiana Amendment 2 would amend the state constitution to allow postsecondary education management boards to set tuition and mandatory fee amounts without legislative approval.  
  • New Mexico Bond Question C would issue up to $142,356,000 in general obligation bonds for higher education, special schools, and tribal schools capital improvements and acquisitions.  
  • Oregon Measure 95 would amend the state constitution to ensure public universities are eligible to invest in equities. In 2013 the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 270 that granted public universities the authority to manage their finances, including the ability to invest in equities. This measure clarifies a provision in the state constitution that may prevent universities from investing in equities.  
  • South Dakota Constitutional Amendment R would amend the state constitution to recognize technical education institutes shall be governed separately from K-12 schools and the other postsecondary institutions as determined by the Legislature.

For more information on legislation from states’ past sessions on education issues, please visit NCSL’s Education Bill Tracking database and  learn more about the key issues facing voters this fall with NCSL’s Ballot Measures database.

Joellen Kralik is a policy associate in NCSL’s Education Program. Dustin Weeden is a policy specialist in NCSL's education program.

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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.