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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors' budget requests for precollegiate education and highlights of proposals that rank high on the states' education agendas. Final legislative action on state budgets will be reported in the months ahead.

DELAWARE

Governor:

Michael N. Castle (D)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$1.71 billion

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$373.8 million

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$355.1 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+5 percent


Highlights

Governor's proposals include adding five days to school year over five years; tripling spending for "at risk" children, from about $500,000 to $1.5 million; raising state contribution to teacher salaries and requiring districts to do likewise; raising compulsory-attendance age from 16 to 18.

INDIANA

Governor:

B. Evan Bayh (D)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$13.01 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$4.69 billion

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$4.11 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+14 percent

Highlights

Budget proposal prepared by bipartisan state budget committee. Would provide 8 percent increase in general tuition over two years; $4.2 million for technology-preparation program approved in 1987 and backed by new Governor.

Governor proposes doubling funding for the "at risk," from $20 million to $40 million; challenge grants to districts to encourage innovation.

Governor also seeking creation of professional-standards board for teaching profession; half of members would be teachers.

Legislation introduced to revise several provisions of "A+ Program," including elimination of performance awards for high-achieving schools; allowing districts to use two days of school year for parent-teacher meetings; altering criteria on statewide tests to qualify more students for remediation.

MAINE

Governor:

John R. McKernan Jr. (R)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$3.2 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$1.94 billion

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$1.55 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+25 percent

Highlights

Governor proposes adding one day to school year in each of next five years; study of how to make more efficient use of school day; $5.5-million increase in aid for "at risk" programs at both elementary and high-school levels; increasing student financial aid and providing grants to all who are eligible.

MINNESOTA

Governor:

Rudy Perpich (D)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$13.3 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$3.28 billion

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$3.02 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+9 percent

Highlights

Governor proposes raising per-pupil spending by 1.6 percent in first year of biennium, not at all in second; 5 percent increase in property taxes; freezing special-education aid at current level. Plan has been criticized by key lawmakers, teachers' unions.

Governor also recommends: increasing state funding for Head Start, from $1 million to $16 million; allowing at-risk students to attend private, nonsectarian schools with state funding; new statewide testing program; joint state-local effort to purchase one computer for every four students; $13.7-million increase in aid to urban districts, including $5 million for desegregation; $11.2 million in grants to support local restructuring efforts.

NEW JERSEY

Governor:

Thomas H. Kean (R)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$12.1 billion

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$3.6 billion

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$3.4 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+6 percent

Highlights

Governor says "austerity" budget proposal would increase state school aid by 6 percent, compared with 2 percent overall increase. Also proposes $320-million property-tax-relief plan that may free up local funds for education. Lawmakers say proposal's chances for approval are slim.

Governor also recommends: statewide parental-choice program; expansion of urban-education programs; setting state standards for proficiency in core subjects; abolishing physical-education requirement for graduation.

OHIO

Governor:

Richard F. Celeste (D)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$23.5 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$8.16 billion

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$6.55 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+25 percent

Highlights

Governor proposes raising income, corporate-franchise taxes by $1.2 billion, placing money in new education "trust fund" under control of independent board of trustees. One-third of revenues would be allocated to districts, remaining two-thirds would finance reforms in precollegiate and higher education selected by trustees. Plan must be approved by legislature and then by voters.

Governor also seeking action on following topics: accountability, including statewide testing and reporting of results, state authority to take over deficient districts; teacher professionalism, possibly including career-ladder system.

Other gubernatorial proposals include: waiving regulations to encourage local restructuring efforts; "parents as teachers" programs focusing on preschoolers, teenage pregnancy; programs for early-childhood and remedial education.

Also favors: abolition of corporal punishment; closer regulation of proprietary schools; limiting working hours of 16- and 17-year-olds; measures to help ease transition from school to work.

TENNESSEE

Governor:

Ned McWherter (D)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$7.7 billion

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$1.37 billion

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$1.31 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+5 percent


Highlights
Governor proposes reducing dropout rate by reducing class sizes, creating "one-room schools" in low-income communities.

TEXAS

Governor:

William P. Clements (R)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$43.7 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$13.8 billion

FY 1988-1989 K-12 budget:

$13.1 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+5 percent

Highlights


Governor proposes $39-million "Educational Excellence Program for Texas." Plan would: provide financial rewards to districts that increase student achievement, reduce dropout rates, fight drug and alcohol abuse; waive state regulations to encourage local reform experiments; broaden compulsory-attendance law; provide counseling and other support services to parents of at-risk children.

Governor also recommends mandatory anti-drug lessons beginning with 9-year-olds; backs plan by state comptroller to issue state bonds to finance school-construction projects.

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