NDASA Legislative Issues and Belief Statements
2012 Representative Assembly
Adopted June 13, 2012
1. FINANCE ISSUES:
A. The NDASA opposes any legislation that creates new mandates without full funding.
B. In order to improve equity and adequacy of school funding in North Dakota, the NDASA supports legislation that will fund a finance formula with provisions for increased costs of educating children that will:
(1) Increase the per pupil payment that will provide for 70 percent funding of the cost of education.
(2) Support a total legislative appropriation of at least $46 million in new foundation aid money to continue the cost of formula payments in excess of 2011-12 appropriation levels for the 2013-2014 biennium.
C. The NDASA supports funding of special education that provides state funds for 70 percent of the cost.
D. The NDASA supports a tax system that provides for a balanced mix of sales tax, income tax, energy tax, and property tax to fund K-12 education that results in 70 percent funding of the statutory cost of education from the state and 30 percent from local sources which will meet the challenges of universal proficiency and provide a stable funding base for a system focused on proficiency.
E. The NDASA supports placing 90 percent of the Tobacco Settlement money into the Common Schools Trust Fund and 10 percent to the Health Department.
F. The NDASA supports the continued enhancement of current incentives such as “signing bonuses,” “housing,” paying off the salary schedule to attract and retain teachers.
G. The NDASA supports a transportation funding system, outside of the per pupil payment of $100 million (currently at $48.5 million), relating to actual operational costs, ridership and mileage driven with a commitment to increased efficiency. Increases for rates paid per mile should be commensurate with increases, as a percentage of cost, in state mileage rates made by the state legislature as of 2011.
H. The NDASA supports the reestablishment of the Commission on Education Improvement as a vehicle for recommending adequate funding and sound educational policy for adoption by the North Dakota State Legislature and is comprised of representation as adopted by the 2009 legislative assembly.
I. The NDASA supports full state supported funding for agency-placed students.
J. The NDASA supports funding for the establishment of deferred maintenance and physical plant improvement grants by appropriating $10 million for grants in the coming biennium should general fund revenues exceed a $35 million surplus by the end of the first year of the next biennium and encourages the legislature to consider funding future school construction projects through a district/state cost sharing formula.
K. The NDASA opposes any legislation or initiated measure which would restrict the number of tax dollars from going into the general fund or would limit a school district from capitalizing on any property valuation increase, or would limit property tax as a locally controlled source of revenue.
L. The NDASA supports the funding of the 2013-15 REAs at a level sufficient to fund delivery of new core offerings, additional services needed regionally, and meeting staffing needs and that it be included as a part of the state budget and not funded from the contingency fund.
M. The NDASA supports property tax relief provided it does not reduce the money dedicated in the Governor’s 2013-15 budget proposal for K-12 education and does not change or eliminate the collection and local control of property tax by legislative action.
N. The NDASA opposes any initiated measure that would restrict or eliminate property taxes for school districts and municipalities.
O. The NDASA supports a simple majority vote to pass voter approved mill levy increases and bond issues.
P. The NDASA supports development of a funding formula that will pay for a greater share of the cost of K-12 education by the state based on the funding recommendations of the 2006 Picus report (pro-rated for inflation) which will:
(1) Reduce the amount of local contribution from local property taxes;
(2) Provide for districts to levy a set number of maximum mills (cap) by a majority vote of their board;
(3) Allow districts to increase mill levys above any set mill cap by a simple majority vote of the electorate;
(4) Ensure that no school district will receive less per student, and
(5) Allow school districts to access additional funding in future years.
(6) To provide for fund for student growth in the year it occurs.
2. REFORM ISSUES:
A. The NDASA supports a combined system of school approval and accreditation based on a school improvement model such as AdvancEd that includes the development of areas of learning, educational core curriculum standards, environmental and facilities standards, local implementation plans, and holds schools accountable for performance. This system of approval and accreditation standards should be related to a district’s mission, goals, and objectives.
B. The NDASA supports use of state-federal student assessments; however, these tests m
C. The NDASA supports quality schools which are defined as locally driven with a plan for school improvement. Locally derived performance and common core standards should be a part of the curriculum, and they should be related to a district’s mission, goals, and objectives. Schools should:
(1) Provide educators who are role models who are trained and current in research and instructional methods.
(2) Be supported financially and emotionally by a community interested in collaboration for children.
(3) Be focused on teaching and learning.
D. The NDASA supports quality schools which are defined as containing high standards for all students that are aligned with curriculum and instruction in conjunction with assessments that reward and measure academic progress. Students should:
(1) Learn to be good citizens by understanding and practicing democracy.
(2) Learn to respect and get along with others amid an atmosphere of learning and individual comfort.
(3) Practice and understand health and safety.
(4) Prepare for the world of work.
(5) Seek to be good managers of time and resources.
(6) Develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, mathematics, and problem solving.
(7) Learn to examine and use information.
(8) Appreciate culture and beauty.
(9) Respect and understand the world around them.
E. The NDASA supports quality schools which are defined by performance and content standards in North Dakota:
(1) A school should be linked to a School Improvement Planning process via AdvancEd’s NCA or the Department of Public Instruction.
(2) Performance and Core Content Standards should serve as guides within the improvement process. Local schools shall retain the right to select and approve local curriculum.
(3) Locally selected curriculum should be adopted based on a district’s mission, goals, and objectives.
(4) There shall be high standards for all students that are aligned to curriculum and instruction and in conjunction with assessments to measure and reward academic progress.
F. The NDASA opposes using any economic rewards or sanctions, and ranking of schools based on performance.
G. The NDASA opposes any legislative mandates regarding how schools should achieve outcomes. The “how to” is best left to the professionals in the school system.
H. The NDASA opposes public funding of private schools through such mechanisms as vouchers, tax credits, tax-free savings accounts, etc.
I. The NDASA opposes home schools or private schools that are not accredited by NDDPI and are not taught by licensed teachers and opposes any local, state, or federal financial incentives for supporting non-public schools.
J. The NDASA supports quality schools which are defined as an “educational experience” which attempts to provide activities designed to further the progress of the whole student in relation to his/her needs, abilities, interests, and achievement. The high schools should make available to each student:
(1) 4 units (courses) of Language Arts (English);
(2) 3 units (courses) of Social Studies;
(3) 3 units (courses) of Mathematics;
(4) 3 units (courses) of Lab Science;
(5) 1 unit (courses) of Physical Education and/or Health Credit (½ unit of each);
(6) 3 units (courses) of the arts, foreign/native languages, or courses in technology;
(7) 5 units (courses) of electives in other enrichments according to the interests of the student.
(1) The applicant’s licensure or certification is based upon a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a major that meets the issuing state’s requirements in early childhood education, elementary education, middle level education, a content area taught at a public high school, special education, or counseling;
(2) A criminal history record check reveals nothing for which a North Dakota applicant would be denied initial licensure.
L. The NDASA
M. The NDASA opposes any federal mandates that require the removal of principals or teachers as a part of the “turnaround schools” requirement as outlined in the “BluePrint for Reform” for the reauthorization of ESEA or as a requirement for Title 1a school improvement grant (SIG) eligibility.
3. ADMINISTRATIVE CREDENTIALS ISSUES:
A. The NDASA supports the current rules for administrative credentials provided it allows state programs in educational leadership to allow required course preparations which are K-12 in content (curriculum, school administration, etc.) and can be taught in any sequence order as long it is an approved program of study. The NDASA also supports basing credential decisions on agreed-upon outcomes and not j
B. The NDASA supports the creation of an “Administrative Standards and Practices Board” for the purpose of setting and reviewing standards for training and credentialing of school administrators if attempts are made to change the current rules or move the process to the ESPB.
4. RETIREMENT ISSUES:
A. The NDASA supports the use of any “margin” in the TFFR funds to be used to increase benefits for members through formula rather than with a pre-funded health insurance program.
B. The NDASA supports the current defined benefit plan used by TFFR as opposed to any defined or hybrid contribution plan.
C. The NDASA supports actions to ensure a self-fund ratio of at least 90% by 2039.
5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ISSUES:
A. The NDASA supports the development of local professional development programs for teachers and administrators, with a minimum of four days appropriately funded.
B. The NDASA supports increased funding the ND LEAD Center.
6. SCHOOL CALENDAR/YEAR/DAY ISSUES:
A. The NDASA supports local school board authority to establish the school calendar, school year, and school day and an increase in the state appropriation for foundation aid that will allow funding of at least 70% to provide for a minimum school term of 185 days. In the interest of student safety schools should be able to start school two hours late or dismiss school two hours early without loss of a student contact day.
B. The NDASA believes that the minimum school day should be 6 clock hours for high school students and 6 hours for elementary students.
C. The NDASA supports funding of a 187-day school calendar.
D. The NDASA supports the banking of hours for staff development days reported to DPI as a part of the calendar report rather than requested from DPI.
E. The NDASA supports having extended, compensated days for staff development which are a part of the school calendar.
A. The NDASA
supports an increased level of CTE funding for delivery of more Coordinated Plans of Study to students in rural communities and request that the legislature continue to study the CTE system of finance during the interim.
B. The NDASA
C. The NDASA supports authorizing and funding of developmentally appropriate early education programs for 3-5 year old children.
D. The NDASA supports the funding of high cost special education students at three and one-half times the state average cost of education per student and that all related costs over that amount be reimbursed by the state.
F. The NDASA supports raising the bid limit for capital projects to $750,000 when nationally bid contracts are used provided a licensed architect or engineer is used as project manager.