North Dakota lawmakers seek to reserve funds for annual student scholarships
BISMARK, North Dakota: The North Dakota legislative session has begun for 2011 and some lawmakers have hit the ground running. On January 11 the Senate's Education Committee reviewed a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment for consideration for the November 2012 statewide ballot.
The North Dakota Education Reserve Fund Amendment would reserve earnings from the state's "foundation aid stabilization fund" for annual scholarships for top students who attend North Dakota colleges. Specifically, the scholarships would go to students who had scores of 24 or better on the ACT college entrance exam. The proposed legislation was drafted by an interim legislative committee. In order to qualify for the ballot, the proposed legislation must receive majority approval.
The state's reserve funds were created following a 1994 ballot measure that required a portion of oil extraction tax revenues to be deposited in the common schools trust fund and an equal portion to be deposited in the foundation aid stabilization fund. The measure passed with 75% of voters in favor.