State Ballot Questions
The following are statewide ballot initiatives and referendums that relate to school funding or other education issues to be decided by voters next week. According to analysts, this year's 93 citizen-initiated ballot questions break the previous record of 90 set in 1914.
Proposition 101. Would provide a $50,000 tax exemption on land used for agriculture, in trade, or as business property.
Amendment 1. Would establish a uniform minimum property-tax rate to benefit schools.
Amendment 7. Would allow for the creation of a state-run lottery and establish the Arkansas Education Trust Fund, which would be funded with some gaming proceeds.
Proposition 209. Would bar most affirmative action programs, preventing colleges, universities, and other government-sponsored programs from discriminating against or giving preference based on race, sex, or national origin.
Amendment 16. Would change the state board of land commissioners and refocus the mission of the panel from maximizing income to managing lands for consistent income. Would also allow schools to tap school-trust-land funds for loans and bonds.
Amendment 17. Would guarantee parents' authority to control the upbringing, education, values, and discipline of their children.
Amendment 2. Would grant school districts power to impose a 1 percent sales tax with approval from local voters.
Amendment 2. Would allow the state to grant funds under the special school-facilities program for periods longer than three years.
Proposition 1. Would limit property taxes to 1 percent of assessed value.
Question 2. Would allow the state to invest its public employee retirement funds in stocks and other securities.
Constitutional amendment. Would remove from the state constitution a provision that requires separate schools for "white'' and "colored'' children and allows for a poll tax.
Proposal E. Would allow gambling in Detroit, and earmark 45 percent of the proceeds that go to the state to be spent on public schools.
Amendment 30. Would replace the state board of education, board of regents, and commissioner of higher education with one state education department and a single education commissioner.
Measure 411. Would make "quality education'' a fundamental right and would make the "thorough and efficient'' education promised in the state constitution the paramount duty of the state.
Measure 412. Would amend the constitution to allow limits on property-tax rates. The limits could be exceeded with local voter approval.
Amendment 2. Would authorize school districts to incur a debt without an election for the lease-purchase of technology equipment.
Question 11. Would require a two-thirds majority of the legislature to increase taxes.
Question 16. Would require the legislature to pass any tax increase twice, with at least 10 days between the votes.
Bond issue. Would provide $1.8 billion for public school capital improvements.
Issue 1. Would establish a state lottery, with proceeds directed by the legislature to elementary, secondary, vocational, and special education.
Question 671. Would allow districts to contract with superintendents for more than one year but not more than three years.
Measure 30. Would require the legislature to pay local governments for the cost of new state-mandated programs or increased levels of service.
Measure 33. Would prohibit state lawmakers from amending for five years any law passed by referendum.
Measure 42. Would require annual testing of all students in grades 4-12.
Measure 47. Would limit property-tax increases to no more than 3 percent each year.
Amendment A. Would grant the state investment council authority to invest money from the permanent school fund and other school funds.
Amendment B. Would require a two-thirds majority of the legislature to increase taxes.
Proposition 4. Would give the state authority to guarantee the debt of school districts.
Proposition 5. Would expand revenue sources to the state school fund to include bequests, donations, and other assets.
Proposition 6. Would define the term "public education system'' for the purposes of granting interest from the state school fund and the state's uniform school fund.
Initiative 173. Would provide students born after Sept. 1, 1989, with scholarship vouchers to use at any eligible public or private school. Vouchers would be required to equal 55 percent of per-pupil spending in the previous school year.
Initiative 177. Would require district elections on whether to convert to new "renewed'' districts that could start independent public schools with new governing boards and no state rules regarding teachers' unions or teacher certification.
Vol. 16, Issue 09