2013-15 Legislative Agenda

by Broc Lietz, Business Manager

As the calendar turned to 2013, so began the current North Dakota Legislative Session, which kicked off in earnest on Tuesday, January 8. Below are the top priorities for FPS during the session:

Sustainable Long-Term Funding
With the ongoing economic challenges facing the country, Fargo Public School District #1 recognizes that North Dakota is fortunate to have resources at its disposal to assure long-term financial stability for state supported programs. Fargo Public Schools encourages the Legislature to utilize these resources to provide meaningful property tax relief to the citizens of the state while maintaining the appropriate levels of local control for political subdivisions to work with local taxpayers to secure long-term sustainability.

Addressing Student Success
Education in the State of North Dakota continues to transform with the ever-changing demographics of our state and an increase in programming needs for a diverse student population. Fargo Public Schools supports a more global education approach that begins prior to kindergarten and expands to adult education, promoting an environment of lifelong learning. This is a transition from the traditional K-12 track. Fargo Public Schools acknowledges and appreciates the efforts of the past Legislative Assembly to provide direction and resources for Gearing Up for Kindergarten. We want to expand on these efforts this session and move toward an education focus encompassing P-16 and beyond.

School Climate and Safety
The safety and security of students span well beyond the traditional hours when students are in our classrooms. These responsibilities begin when students are transported to school in the morning and extend to afterschool programs for extra- and co-curricular activities. A few of these programs are highlighted in the School Climate and Safety portion of our booklet and are currently budgeted at $892,000. Fargo Public Schools encourages the Legislature to provide resources to assist with these efforts.

Each of these topic areas has several items that have been identified as specific action items. The complete FPS Legislative Issues packet can be found in the Public Information Warehouse.

I will be sending weekly updates to the Board of Education, Cabinet, principals, and local legislators regarding status and pending hearings on bills that impact the issues presented above. These updates will also be available for the public in a Weekly Legislative Update, also hosted in the Public Information Warehouse.