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Legilsative Update

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


ARKANSAS

Governor:

Bill Clinton (D)

FY 1990-91 state budget:

$3.5 billion

FY 1990-91 K-12 budget:

$1.7 billion

FY 1989-90 K-12 budget:

$1.6 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+6 percent

Highlights

Approved school-choice bill to allow students to transfer to public schools outside their home districts.

Required merger of districts in which fewer than 85 percent of students pass state's Minimum Performance Test, and that fail to show "reasonable progress" toward improvement within two years.

Made kindergarten attendance mandatory. Requirement can be lifted for children whose parents sign waivers.

Required districts to set minimum salary of $16,000 for teachers.

Authorized annual school "report cards." Implementation contingent on raising $500,000 in new revenue.

Governor expected to call special session on tax reform. If new revenues become available, will likely press for teacher pay raises, more aid for preschools and scholarships.

GEORGIA

Governor:

Joe Frank Harris (D)

FY 1990 state budget:

$7.5 billion

FY 1990 K-12 budget:

$2.7 billion

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$2.3 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+17 percent

Highlights

Raised sales tax by 1 cent; earmarked 46 percent, or $315 million, of new revenues for elementary and secondary education.

Budget includes $68.1 million for a 3 percent salary increase for teachers and for improvements in salary schedule; $115 million for school construction; $97-million increase8in funding for Quality Basic Education Act; $19.9 million for special instructional-assistance program; $8.9 million for in-school suspension programs in high schools.

House rejected Senate-passed bill to establish lottery.

NEW MEXICO

Governor:

Garrey E. Carruthers (R)

FY 1990 state budget:

$1.72 billion

FY 1990 K-12 budget:

$863 million

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$803 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+8 percent

Highlights

Senate-approved open-enrollment bill modeled on Minnesota program died in House.

Raised teacher pay by 5 percent for FY 1990; provided 5 percent bonuses for last three months of FY 1989.

Provided for free tuition and books at any college or university in the state for top students from families with incomes below $30,000.

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