2012 State Elections – Education-Related Ballot Measures
A state-by-state, summarized listing of PreK-12 education-related ballot measures from across the country as compiled by the National Council of State Legislatures (where you will find full titles and text). Among the measures are many pertaining to education funding mechanisms. Results as reported are still unofficial but likely outcomes.
Amendment 4 (Civil Rights) FAILED
If passed,would officially repeal sections of the state constitution that explicitly authorize racially segregated schools and impose poll taxes.
Proposition 118 (Funding) FAILED
Would change the distribution formula for the state land trust permanent endowment fund, which funds various public institutions, including schools, to be 2.5% of the average monthly market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. A “yes” vote would change the distribution formula for the State Land Trust Permanent Endowment Fund, which funds various public institutions, including schools, to be 2.5% of the average monthly market values of the Fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. The change would affect fiscal years 2013 through 2021. A “no” vote would keep current constitutional law related to the distribution formula of the State Land Trust Permanent Endowment Fund.
Proposition 204 (Funding) FAILED
If adopted, would permanently increases the state sales tax by one cent per dollar for the purpose of funding educational programs, public transportation infrastructure projects, and human services; forbids reductions to current k-12 and university funding levels; and forbids reductions to the current state sales tax base. Would go into effect June 13, 2013.
Proposition 31 (Funding) PASSED
Would increase taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools. Guarantees public safety realignment funding. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues through 2018–19, averaging about $6 billion annually over the next few years. Revenues available for funding state budget. In 2012–13, planned spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would not occur.
Proposition 38 (Funding) FAILED
Would increase taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for twelve years. Revenues go to K–12 schools and early childhood programs, and for four years to repaying state debt. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues for 12 years—roughly $10 billion annually in initial years, tending to grow over time. Funds used for schools, child care, and preschool, as well as providing savings on state debt payments.
Amendment 8 (Public Funding of Private-Parochial Institutions) FAILED
Would change the state constitution so no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding or other support, except as required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and deleting the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.
Amendment 1 (Charter Schools) PASSED
This would authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for the creation of public state charter schools, which would operate under the terms of charters between the State Board of Education and charter petitioners, while preserving the authority of local boards of education to establish local charter schools. Specifically, the proposal clarifies the authority of the General Assembly to provide for statewide policies for public education prior to the college or post-secondary level, restates the authority of the General Assembly to establish special schools, prohibits the incurrence of bonded indebtedness or the levy of school taxes for the support of special schools without approval of the local board of education and the voters in the affected school system, provides that special schools may include public state charter schools, preserves the authority of local boards of education to establish local charter schools, authorizes the expenditure of state funds for special schools, and prohibits the deduction of certain state funds from local school districts as a direct result or consequence of the enrollment of students in the state charter schools.
Proposition 1 (Collective Bargaining Rights for and Dismissal of Teachers) FAILED
If passed, would uphold legislation that would limit the collective bargaining rights of teachers dealing with local school boards. Would also phase out renewable individual contracts; provide that professional staff employed after January 31, 2011 shall not be entitled to a formal review of decisions for not being reemployed; allow school boards to change the length of terms stated in current contracts and reduce the salaries of certificated staff with renewable contracts without due process proceedings; require school districts to disclose to employees a list of professional liability insurance providers; eliminate education support program for school districts experiencing enrollment decreases greater than one percent; eliminate teacher early retirement incentives; restrict the scope of negotiated agreements between school boards and professional staff to compensation and the duration of negotiated agreements to one year; and eliminate provisions for fact finding in professional negotiations.
Proposition 2 (Merit Pay for Teachers) FAILED
Would maintain legislation that institutes performance bonuses to certificated instructional staff based on a school’s median student growth percentiles on state achievement tests and a school’s median standardized score on state achievement tests and local share-based pay for performance based on student test scores, graduation rates, dropout rates, percent of graduates attending post-secondary education or entering military service, meeting federal “adequate yearly progress”, number of students successfully completing dual credit or advanced placement classes; percent of students in extracurricular activities, class projects, portfolios, successful completion of special student assignments, parental involvement, teacher-assigned grades, and/or student attendance rates.
Proposition 3 (Funding and Technology) FAILED
Would maintain legislation amending school district funding, requiring provision of computing devices and online courses for high school graduation.
Proposition B (Tobacco Taxes to Fund Health Education) FAILED
Would amend Missouri law to create the Health and Education Trust Fund with proceeds from a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The amount of the tax is $0.0365 per cigarette and 25% of the manufacturer’s invoice price for roll-your-own tobacco and 15% for other tobacco products. The Fund proceeds will be used to reduce and prevent tobacco use and for elementary, secondary, college, and university public school funding.
Measure 85 (Funding) PASSED
Would change the “corporate kicker” provision of the Oregon Constitution. Under current law, certain excess corporate income and excise tax revenues collected during a biennium are returned to corporate taxpayers. Under Ballot Measure 85, the excess revenues would be retained in the state’s General Fund and used to provide additional funding for kindergarten through twelfth grade public education. The Legislature has full discretion over how it allocates General Fund moneys, including the total amount of General Fund moneys to K-12 public education.
Initiated Measure 15 (Funding) FAILED
Would increase the state general sales and use tax rate from 4% to 5%. The additional tax revenue will be split evenly between K-12 public education and Medicaid. The education funds will be provided to school districts based on enrollment, to be spent on improving education as school boards determine. The additional funding cannot replace or reduce state funding levels set for fiscal year 2012 relating to existing Medicaid and K-12 public education programs, including state aid to education.
Referred Law 16 (Teacher Evaluations, Teacher Prep Scholarships, Merit Pay, etc.) FAILED
Would establish a teacher scholarship program for students who commit to teach high-need subjects in state; create a program for annual math and science teacher bonuses; create a program for teacher merit bonuses; mandate a uniform teacher and principal evaluation system, including a rating system; and eliminate state requirements for teacher tenure.
Initiative 1240 (Charter Schools) PASSED
Would authorize approval by local school boards or a state charter commission of up to 40 publicly-funded charter schools open to all students, operated through approved, nonreligious, nonprofit organizations, with government oversight; and modify certain laws applicable to them as public schools.