We are keeping track of two ballot measures relating to education in two states for the 2009 election. One is on the ballot in Maine and the other is in Texas.
Question 3 in Maine is a statewide referendum attempting to overturn the school district consolidation law passed in 2007 the school district consolidation law passed in 2007 by the Maine State Legislature and subsequently amended in 2008. The law attempts to consolidate Maine's 218 school districts into 80 districts. A yes vote supports repealing the law, while a no vote supports keeping it as it currently is. This is a significant issue in Maine, and several pieces of related legislation have been discussed in the State House and Senate in 2009. In June, the Maine Senate voted to keep the program in place, but the House voted to try and repeal it. Further related legislation includes another vote in June to delay penalties for noncompliance with consolidation by one year.
Proposition 4 in Texas is an attempt to establish a $500 million fund for Tier 1 universities, designated as emerging research universities in the legislation. The proposition provides that the Texas State Legislature will provide the rules and procedures by which such funding can be available, and it specifically excludes University Of Texas (Austin) and Texas A&M from further funding as both are already Tier 1 schools. Similar legislation was seen this year in Missouri, where the House passed a joint resolution to authorize the issuance of $700 million in 25 year bonds for a variety of purposes related to institutions of higher education.
-Darren McDivitt, Research Associate