States News Roundup
Land Tax for Schools Gains Support in N.H. Legislature
A special committee of the New Hampshire legislature has approved the creation of a new land tax to support local education in the state.
The committee, which was established to study state revenue needs and resources, was scheduled to make a formal recommendation to House and Senate leaders last week, according to State Representative Douglas Scamman, a member of the committee.
Mr. Scamman said the land-value tax "will be highly controversial." But, he added, some kind of tax will be needed to fund education in view of the school-finance suit pending before the state's supreme court.
In that case, seven school districts are claiming that the state's school-finance formula--with its heavy reliance on property taxes--creates inequities among rich and poor districts. The state does not have an income or general sales tax.
Mr. Scamman said revenue collected through the land tax would go to the state's foundation program, which provides aid to poor districts. ''This would be a way to fund whatever problem the court determines was there," he added.
Texas Teachers Ask New Salary System
The 95,000-member Texas State Teachers Association will ask this year's session of the state legislature to reorganize the salary schedule for public-school teachers in order to attract more able people into the profession.
Under the organization's plan, the number of pay grades and experience steps would be reduced so that teachers would be able to reach the top of the salary schedule within 10 years instead of 18 years, as is now the case.
Such a system would enable a teacher to double his or her beginning salary in 10 years.
An education subcommittee of the Texas Senate has also recommended the "compressed" salary schedule on the grounds that it "might permit an individual to reach a higher, more competitive salary prior to mid-career rather than after mid-career."
The teachers' group will also recommend that the legislature raise the beginning minimum teacher salary from $11,110 to $15,000 for a teacher with a bachelor's degree and from $11,880 to $17,000 for a teacher with a master's degree.
Vol. 02, Issue 18