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Funding for mid-sized schools with declining enrollment defeated

BISMARCK -- Members of the North Dakota House in the central part of the state sponsored two bills meant to bring additional funding to mid-sized schools with declining enrollment.Neither bill survived with its funding intact.House Bill 1258, spo...

BISMARCK - Members of the North Dakota House in the central part of the state sponsored two bills meant to bring additional funding to mid-sized schools with declining enrollment.
Neither bill survived with its funding intact.
House Bill 1258, sponsored by Rep. Mike Brandenburg, R-Edgeley, would have adjusted the state funding formula for schools with enrollments between 185 and 300 students. 
“We’re trying to get equity in funding for schools with declining enrollment,” he said. “We’re seeing smaller schools with declining enrollment are funded (by the state) at between 60 percent and 65 percent rather than the 80 percent target.”
Brandenburg said his bill had a $70 million price tag, which caused problems for many legislators. The bill failed with 7 yes votes and 85 no votes.
House Bill 1168, sponsored by Rep. Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, would have provided grants to schools with declining enrollments.
“My bill would have granted $1,750 per year per student for schools with a loss of 10 or more students or 2 percent of the enrollment,” he said. “We have an issue of declining enrollment in central North Dakota.”
The bill had an $8 million cost attached to it. It has been amended to authorize an interim legislative study of the issue without any funding for the schools in this biennium. The amended version authorizing the study passed the House unanimously and will move on to the Senate for consideration.
Forum News Service

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