Lawmakers Gear Up for Action on K-12 Issues
State lawmakers will attempt to tackle a range of issues in legislative sessions getting under way this month, from making common academic standards a reality and funding schools based on performance, to allowing armed teachers and staff members on school grounds.
Their task may be complicated by the still small and spotty economic recovery in many places, and by federal education funding uncertainties posed by the continued wrangling in Washington over the nation's fiscal future. ( "K-12 Aid Outlook Murky, Despite 'Cliff' Deal," Jan. 9, 2013.)
To the extent that K-12 issues need to be handled on a bipartisan basis, the increasingly polarized nature of state government could make that work more difficult. In 2013, only 14 states have divided government—a governor of one party and at least one chamber of the legislature controlled by another party—compared with 20 after the 2010 elections. Half the states will have veto-proof majorities in their legislatures in 2013, when new governors in Indiana, Montana, and New...
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