Gov. John Hoeven outlined a plan last week to take advantage of North Dakota’s economic good fortune by spending more state money on education while allowing local governments to reduce their school funding.
In his Jan. 3 State of the State address, the Republican also called for making higher education more affordable through additional tuition aid for students.
In his budget proposal for the 2008-09 biennium, released earlier in the week, Gov. Hoeven said the $540 million the state has in its general-fund surplus and reserves could help pay for $116 million in property-tax relief while providing an additional $200 million for K-12 education. The extra money would help equalize education funding for disadvantaged districts, as outlined in a recent state commission report.
“I believe we have a responsibility to return part of the surplus to our citizens,” the governor said in his address. “Working together, we can not only improve K-12 education funding, but we can also provide the people of North Dakota with meaningful tax relief.”
For More info
Read a complete transcript of Gov. John. Hoeven’s 2007 State of the State Address. Also, video and audio presentations are available. (Real Player or Windows Media Player required.) Posted by North Dakota’s Office of the Governor.
A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2007 edition of Education Week