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Politics & Government

Bills on school boundaries and education fact finding commission pass the Legislature

The Legislature has passed a bill to create a task force to study school district boundaries.

House Education Committee chairman Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck) says the issue can be very emotional.

"Imagine being in a city where you're across the street, looking at a school a block or two away," said Nathe. "And because the boundaries are where they're drawn, you cannot send your child there. You may have to send your child to a school 5 to 10 miles away."

Nathe says the issue came up because of a situation in Williston. But he says it’s an issue in many communities across the state.

The Legislature also okayed a bill to raise the pay of members of the education fact-finding commission.

That commission is called in when a school district and its teachers have reached impasse. Each side would pay half the cost.

The measure ties the commissioners’ pay to what the Legislature receives. So, it would go from $110 a day to $167 per day.

"The education fact-funding commission is having a very difficult time recruiting and retaining members," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Lefor (R-Dickinson).

Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-West Fargo) opposed it – saying to tie a commission’s pay to Legislative compensation is not good policy.

Both bills are on their way to Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

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