S.D. Governor Proposes New School-Aid System

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Gov. William J. Janklow of South Dakota outlined an ambitious $120 million property-tax-reduction plan last week that includes a new formula for funding schools.

A judge upheld the state's school-finance formula last month, but lawmakers are nonetheless looking for ways to reduce heavy property-tax burdens and districts' disincentives to cut costs under the current aid formula. (See Education Week, 12/07/94.)

Under the new plan, the state would set the cost of a basic education at $3,100 per pupil. Districts would be required to levy taxes at minimum rates, and the state would then pay the difference between the basic cost and what the district could generate with the minimum levy. A local government could choose to levy higher taxes with a two-thirds vote of its governing board.

Mr. Janklow proposed using a broadened state sales tax and video-lottery funds to pay for the state's greater contribution to education funding and property-tax relief. The plan would reduce local tax bills by 30 percent.

In his State of the State address earlier this month, Governor Janklow also proposed building a boot camp and a juvenile prison, and removing "virtually every single state mandate in K-12 education."

School-Safety Veto:On his last day in office, Gov. Carroll A. Campbell Jr. of South Carolina vetoed a school-safety bill that he said was ill-conceived and too bureaucratic.

Mr. Campbell, who stepped down Jan. 10, criticized a provision that would have established an advisory committee to study the effectiveness of alternative sentences for young criminal offenders, saying that the money should be invested in successful programs such as boot camps.

South Carolina's new Governor, David M. Beasley, had no reaction to the veto, but his spokesman, Mark Chambers, said the Governor "is interested in promoting school safety and creating a safe learning environment."

Vol. 14, Issue 18

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