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North Dakota Senate defeats proposed Board of Education overhaul

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April 8, 2011

BISMARCK, North Dakota: Earlier this week on April 6 the North Dakota Senate shot down a proposed constitutional amendment to overhaul the state's board of education. The measure called for placing public education - Kindergarten through college - under one board. According to reports, the superintendent of public instruction would no longer have been elected. Instead the proposed agency's director and the advisory board would have been appointed by the governor.[1]

On March 30, 2011 the House approved the proposed measure following a 52-40 vote. However, on April 6 the Senate defeated the measure with a 7-40 vote.[2]

Measure sponsor and supporter Rep. Al Carlson argued that the proposal would have helped streamline the education administration in the state and lead to more efficient use of state funds.[3] On the other hand, Sen. Joan Heckaman said the proposed measure could have interfered with local control of schools. Heckaman added, "The right to elect the individual best qualified to lead the state agency responsible for education would be gone forever if this resolution passes." Opponents also argued that if the measure was about saving state funds, the measure provided no answers.[3]

See also

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Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot North Dakota Board of Education Amendment (2012)