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Legislative Update

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

ALABAMA

Governor: Guy Hunt (R)

FY 1990 state budget: $3.2 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.5 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $1.5 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: No change

Highlights:

Imposed minimum penalty of five years in prison with no probation for selling drugs within a three-mile radius of a school. Also authorized expulsion or suspension of students found with electronic communication devices in school.

Placed referendum on statewide ballot calling for constitutional amendment to allow elected school superintendents to participate in state retirement system.

Failed to enact tax-reform measures proposed by the Governor and measure proposed by House leadership that would have required property-tax increases in most districts and enacted into law several school-accountability standards approved by state board of education.

Advanced cutoff birthdate for 4-year-olds entering school from Oct. 1 to Sept. 1. Takes effect in 1990-91 school year.

Authorized creation of state residential high school for math and science. Funding must come from future appropriations or private support.

COLORADO

Governor: Roy Romer (D)

FY 1990 state budget: $4.8 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.18 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget:ÿ20$1.1 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:ÿ20+7 percent

Highlights:

Adopted $80-million increase in state school aid. Rejected education groups' calls to raise income tax to prevent local property-tax increases.

Defeated statewide open-enrollment measure; bill to deny driver's licenses to dropouts.

MINNESOTA

Governor: Rudy Perpich (D)

FY 1990-91 state budget:ÿ20$13.3 billion
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget:ÿ20$3.47 billion
FY 1988-89 K-12 budget: $3.02 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:ÿ20+15 percent

Highlights:

Raised per-pupil aid by 3 percent in biennium's first year, 4.1 percent in second year. Budget also includes $10.6 million for programs to ensure mastery of basic skills; $6.4 million to reduce pupil-teacher ratios; $1 million to pilot test "learner outcome" program; $6.5 million in operating funds for new statewide arts high school; $9-million increase for Head Start, to $11 miliion.

Imposed $25-per-pupil penalty on districts that do not reach labor agreements with teachers by Jan. 15.

Allowed districts to grant credit for youth-service programs.

Reimbursed certain districts for one-half of the salary, fringe benefits of minority teachers who had not taught in the state during the previous year.

Created incentives for districts to cooperate in providing secondary instruction, offer joint programs involving two or more contiguous districts.

Rejected Governor's proposals for statewide testing program; new bond program for educational computer purchases; expansion of private-school participation in graduation incentive program.

Made Indian contract schools located on reservations eligible for state aid that will supplement, not replace, federal aid.

Agreed to reimburse districts that provide students who are parents with transportation between home, day care, and school.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Governor: Judd Gregg (R)

FY 1990-91 state budget: $1.3 billion
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget:ÿ20$75 million
FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:ÿ20$81 million
Percent change K-12 budget:ÿ20-7 percent

Highlights:

Legislature agreed to distribute to districts accrued sweepstakes revenue from prior years.

Limited students' after-school work to 30 hours per week during school year, required principals to certify that student workers have maintained satisfactory academic performance and required parents to sign certificates.

Defeated proposed legislation to deny the right to drive to high-school dropouts.

VERMONT

Governor: Madeleine M. Kunin (D)

FY 1990 state budget: $600 million
FY 1990 K-12 budget:ÿ20$178.3 million
FY 1989 K-12 budget:ÿ20$162.6 million
Percent change K-12 budget:ÿ20+10 percent

Highlights:

Adopted measures to limit growth in special-education costs.

Raised state aid for special education by 39 percent.

Strengthened state supervision of some private schools.

Authorized but did not provide financing for a program to assess student performance on basis of work portfolios, as well as test scores.

Revised teacher-licensing standards.

Earmarked $75,000 for grants to innovative schools.

WASHINGTON

Governor:ÿ20Booth Gardner (D)

FY 1990-91 state budget: $12.5 billion
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget:ÿ20$5.76 billion
FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:ÿ20$4.8 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:ÿ20+20 percent

Highlights:

Raised basic per-pupil aid by $401 million. Includes $38 million to reduce class sizes in K-3; $55 million in block grants to districts.

Earmarked $252 million for school construction and renovation; includes $71.5 million from general-fund revenues.

Raised teacher pay by 13 percent over two years.

Added $5.7 million for Schools for the 21st Century program, an effort to encourage local restructuring projects. Will expand number of districts participating from 21 to 33.

Failed to act on "children's initiative," ensuring measure a place on state's November ballot. Proposal calls for more than $300 million in new spending for education, welfare, social services.

Approved anti-drug bill that allows school officials to frisk, and search lockers of, students suspected of possessing illegal drugs.

Adopted statewide open-enrollment program for dropouts.

Scrapped high-school grading system based on Carnegie units in favor of new system based on attainment of "core competencies."

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