In 2008, Picus Odden and Associates was hired to provide school finance analyses and support to the North Dakota Education Improvement Commission, chaired by then Lt. Governor and now Governor Jack Dalrymple. The commission included key legislative leaders and recognized educators from school districts across the state. In 2009, the state adopted a major new funding system, based on our study’s recommendations. Because of revenues generated from a thriving state economy and oil, gas and coal extractions, the new funding system represented the largest increase in state funds for education and property tax relief in the state’s history.
The firm has just been asked to work over the next year with an interim legislative committee with the charge to reexamine the aspirations set forth in the 2008 report, assess the level of the state’s success in meeting those aspirations, and to recommend both expectations for and sufficient levels of funding for the coming years.