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Legislative Update

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

NEBRASKA

Governor: Kay A. Orr (R)

FY 1990-91 state budget: $1.18 billion
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget: $233.6 million
FY 1988-89 K-12 budget: $207.9 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +12 percent

Highlights:

Approved statewide open-enrollment program, effective 1990-91 school year.

Set January 1999 deadline for development of new school-aid formula.

Authorized state education department to investigate and prosecute if necessary charges of improprieties, including molestation, lodged against administrators and teachers.

Earmarked $20 million in each year of biennium for teacher salaries. Governor vetoed $18-million increase in basic state aid.

Governor also vetoed bill calling for local and statewide forums on school restructuring. Measure would have provided grants for local projects.

OKLAHOMA

Governor: Henry Bellmon (R)

FY 1990 state budget: $2.7 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $830.7 million
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $780.7 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +6 percent

Highlights:

Passed Oklahoma Education Challenge 2000 Act. Authorizes prekindergarten programs, expands student testing program, creates high-school-graduation competency test effective 1993, requires school "report cards." Companion bill cre2lates citizens' advisory panel to recommend changes in tax, school-finance systems.

Approved $750,000 in financial incentives for consolidation.

Ordered districts to use 75 percent of new state aid for teacher-salary increases.

Provided $900,000 to hire staff for state residential high school for math and science. Governor may veto related $1.5-million appropriation for math, science summer institutes at rural, regional colleges.

Approved $750,000 for programs benefiting at-risk children.

Reduced state education department budget by $1.9 million, eliminated 22 staff positions.

Banned students from smoking on school grounds, required schools to create smoking areas for adults.

Held over open-enrollment bill for further study.

TENNESSEE

Governor: Ned R. McWherter (D)

FY 1990 state budget: $8 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.37 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $1.31 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent

Highlights:

Required local school-board members to have high-school diploma or equivalency degree.

Made fraudulent falsification of educational documents a misdemeanor.

Made possession of electronic paging devices by students evidence of drug dealing.

Denied drivers' licenses to teenagers convicted of drug and alcohol offenses.

Defeated measures to: require appointment, rather than election, of local superintendents; raisesales tax one-half cent, use revenues for education; limit teenagers' working hours; require school year to begin after Labor Day; create career-skills enhancement program for teachers; provide college tuition to children of teachers.

TEXAS

Governor: William P. Clements (R)

FY 1990-91 state budget: $47.4 billion
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget: $10.5 billion
FY 1988-89 K-12 budget: $10 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent

Highlights:

New two-year school-funding formula provides districts with $450 million in additional state school aid.

Earmarked $10 million for incentive grants for districts that improve student performance.

Required students to remain inschool to qualify for a driver's license.

Increased minimum salary forhers to $17,000.

Raised career-ladder funding to districts from $70 to $90 per student, based on average daily attendance. Districts may adopt tougher evaluation standards.

Increased compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17.

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