A short history of the Foundation Aid Stabilization Fund | Prairie Public Broadcasting

A short history of the Foundation Aid Stabilization Fund

Aug 10, 2016

When other state agencies were forced to cut spending when Governor Dalrymple ordered an allotment, funding for K-12 education was spared.

That’s because of a Constitutional fund called the “foundation aid stabilization fund.”

It was passed in the 1993 Legislative Session, and was approved by voters in 1994.

Former State Senator James Yockim (D-Williston) was one of the sponsors. He said it had been tried twice before that, but was rejected each time. Yockim said the third time was the charm.

"We put that in place, planning for and trying to insure a better future," Yockim said. "We took a long term view of our oil and gas revenues, as well as state budgeting."

Yiockim said it was a way to help local school districts get through short-term crises.

Former  State Representative Lee Kaldor (D-Hillsboro) was a co-sponsor. Kaldor had been a member of the Hillsboro School Board – and he called the situation with foundation aid frustrating.

"Every time there was an allotment, we would get cut in the second year of the biennium," Kaldor said. "It was impossible to negotiate teacher contracts or to do any realistic budgets."

Kaldor said the amendment was a long-term solution to a repeated problem."

The measure itself had bi-partisan sponsors.

Once a Governor orders an allotment, he can use the foundation aid stabilization fund to keep schools whole. Gov. Jack Dalrymple has used the fund twice this year.