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Review of 2009 Ballot Measures: Education - Follow-up

2009 November 10 - Stefan

Follow-up on Education Ballot Measures:

On November 3rd, voters in Maine rejected a ballot measure to repeal the school district consolidation laws (Question 3: Citizen Initiative). The measure would have repealed the laws related to the consolidation of school administrative units that were enacted by the First Regular Session of the 123rd Legislature in Public Law 2007, chapter 240, Part XXXX. In addition, it would have restored the laws that were amended or repealed to accommodate the consolidation.

Proposition 4 in the state of Texas passed on Tuesday, November 3rd. The amendment will provide a $500 million research fund for Tier-1 universities such as Texas A&M and the University of Texas (Austin). According to the bill, the balance from the Higher Education Fund will be transferred to the National Research University Fund. Tier-1 research universities are considered to be institutions that annually contribute more than $100 million to research. Currently, Texas, with a state population of over 24 million, has only three Tier-1 universities. According to the Texas House Research Organization, supporters of Proposition 4 hope the newly created research fund will increase the number of Tier-1 schools in Texas while helping Texan students to become more competitive in the global workforce. Opponents of the bill claim that the funding criteria could be too difficult for some institutions to achieve, especially historically under-funded institutions as well as those who primarily serve minorities.

-Stefan Johansson, Research

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