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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on education-related matters.

Final Action

ARIZONA

Governor: Rose Mofford (D)

FY 1989 state budget: $2.79 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $1.09 billion
FY 1988 K-12 budget: $1.06 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +3 percent

Highlights

  • Defeated a statewide open-enrollment proposal.
  • Modified statewide testing programs for 1st and 12th graders.
  • Required state board to make a statewide "no pass, no play'' rule.
  • Adopted three measures for "at risk'' children: a $3-million program for pupils in kindergarten through 3rd grade; a $1.5-million dropout-prevention program; and a $100,000 loan-forgiveness program for prospective teachers who agree to work in districts with a large number of disadvantaged students.
  • Closed a tax loophole that allowed residents of retirement communities to avoid paying school taxes.

DELAWARE

Governor: Michael N. Castle (R)

FY 1989 state budget: $1.04 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $357 million
FY 1988 K-12 budget: $330 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +8 percent

Highlights

  • Adopted an indexed salary scale that raises first-year teachers' salaries by $390, and increases the salaries of experienced teachers by as much as $1,800 a year. Teachers can expect an average raise of 5.7 percent.
  • Defeated a measure that would have prohibited corporal punishment in public schools.
  • Allocated $598,870 for asbestos inspections and removal.

ILLINOIS

Governor: James R. Thompson (R)

FY 1989 state budget: $11 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $2.53 billion
FY 1988 K-12 budget: $2.42 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent

Highlights

  • Adopted a sweeping package of reforms for the Chicago school system.
  • $52.5-million increase in general operating aid to districts.
  • $27 million for reforms mandated in 1985. Bulk is earmarked for early-childhood education.
  • $3.5-million increase for educational alternatives for potential dropouts. Also expanded a dropout-prevention program modeled on Chicago's Beethoven project to four other communities.
  • $2-million increase for the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Shifted funding for school in future years to higher-education budget.
  • Required state board to administer a pilot program designed to train parents to prepare preschool children for success in school. Encouraged districts to seek private funding.

LOUISIANA

Governor: Buddy Roemer (D)

FY 1989 state budget: $8.03 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $1.46 billion
FY 1988 K-12 budget: $1.31 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +11 percent

Highlights

  • Adopted omnibus education bill that raises teachers' salaries, provides teachers with extra pay for extra work, abolishes lifetime certification for new teachers.
  • Approved measure drastically revising state school-aid formula.
  • Rejected bills to: abolish the state board of elementary and secondary education; allow sex education in elementary schools; require students to earn better than a D average to graduate from high school.

NORTH CAROLINA

Governor: James G. Martin (R)

FY 1989 state budget: $6.3 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $2.89 billion
FY 1988 K-12 budget: $2.76 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent

Highlights

  • Approved a bill giving the superintendent of instruction authority over the education department's controller, who currently reports to the state board of education.
  • Prohibited districts from using standardized tests for 1st and 2nd graders, and directed state board to provide districts with alternative assessment instruments.
  • Tightened regulation of home schooling.
  • Appropriated $110.7 million to raise teachers' salaries by 4.5 percent; $18.8 million to hire adult replacements for 17-year-old school-bus drivers; $4.2 million for before- and after-school programs for latchkey children; $3 million for programs for academically gifted students; and $323,000 for drug education.

WEST VIRGINIA

Governor: Arch Moore Jr. (R)

FY 1989 state budget: $1.5 Billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $705 Million
FY 1988 K-12 budget:$717 Million
Percent change K-12 budget:-2 percent

Highlights

  • Adopted massive school-reform bill that permits state intervention in substandard districts; establishes new statewide testing program; denies driving privileges to dropouts; allows parents to buy tax-free bonds to save for children's college education.


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