State Journal: Late returns; Loose lips; School finance
Want to cast your ballot for school board members or your local school district's budget after the vote is in?
That's what some politicians and members of the education community in New Jersey feared might happen in the elections set for April 19.
As a courtesy to the new Governor, the legislature gave Christine Todd Whitman an extra month to present her budget. But lawmakers did not extend the same courtesy to school districts, which had less than a month to prepare budgets for the 1994-95 school year because they, too, got their state aid figures late.
To alleviate some pressure, the state education department gave absentee voters a three-day extension to file ballots, an idea some policymakers said could lead to fraud and lawsuits.
But the education department says the ballots must be postmarked by April 19.
Thus, says Frank Belluscio, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association, "there won't be any effort to change election results.''
But it still might take three extra days to find out who won and who has to go back to the budgetary drawing board.
Gov. George Voinovich of Ohio drew fire recently for remarks he made about a pending school-finance lawsuit.
"I think we're going to lose it because the judge is elected in Perry County,'' he said on Ohio Public Radio last month.
Supporters of the lawsuit--which contends that Ohio's reliance on local property taxes has resulted in unconstitutional inequities--criticized the Governor for implying that Judge Linton Lewis Jr. would be influenced by the fact that he must answer to voters in one of the state's rural, less affluent counties.
"He meant to express sympathy for the tough position the judge is in,'' a spokesman for Mr. Voinovich said.
Floridians can now give a little extra support to the state's schools when they renew their auto registration.
The state legislature just passed a bill authorizing license plates bearing an apple with a diploma and a mortarboard superimposed on it and the words "support education.'' Proceeds from the $15 fee for the speciality plates will go to schools in the county where each tag is purchased.
The tag would compete with a growing array of tags--such as licenses
featuring the space shuttle or manatees--for motorists'
Vol. 13, Issue 29