Alabama Parents Go to Court Over Property Tax
By David Harrison, Staff Writer
DRASTIC REDUCTIONS: Arizona state senators approved a spending plan last week that calls for $1.3 billion in spending reductions to help balance the current year's state budget as well as the one for the coming fiscal year. The budget would avoid borrowing and rely instead on deep cuts to education. Universities would lose about 26 percent of their state funding and K-12 schools about 7 percent, despite higher sales tax rates that voters approved last year to spare education cuts, according to The Arizona Republic . The state's House of Representatives has yet to offer a budget.
HIGHER TUITION: With higher education budgets facing cuts across the country, several state university systems are mulling tuition increases for the next school year. In Arizona , the Board of Regents is considering double-digit increases at the state's three biggest schools. Students at the University of Arizona could see a 22 percent jump in tuition, Arizona State students 17 percent and those at Northern Arizona University 15 percent, according to The Arizona Republic . In Florida , lawmakers last week considered raising tuition 5 percent and allowing the schools to add on another 10 percent increase, The Miami Herald reports. Iowa is considering a range of tuition increases that could force incoming nursing students at the University of Iowa to pay 41 percent more, according to the Des Moines Register . Meanwhile, the University of Connecticut is bucking the trend and calling for a 2.5 percent increase, the smallest in years, according to The Connecticut Mirror .
CHRISTIE VS. TEACHERS: School advocates lobbied in New Jersey last week for more school funds, arguing that spending cuts and a 2 percent cap on local tax increases have hurt school districts. The funding debate is just one front in the pitched battle between teachers' unions and Governor Chris Christie, who also wants to abolish teacher tenure and expand charter schools. New Jersey has approved dozens of new charter school applications this year, to the consternation of some public school officials who say that charters siphon away both public school money and a district's best students. Meanwhile, The (Bergen County) Record reports that some charter school directors have been exempt from salary caps that Christie imposed on district superintendents.