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Legislative Update

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

CONNECTICUT

Governor: William A. O'Neill (D)

FY 1990 state budget: $6.8 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.24 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $1.15 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +8 percent

Highlights:

Passed largest tax increase in state history.

Approved 7 percent increase in basic grants to districts.

Increased to $1 million grants to districts to pursue voluntary interdistrict desegregation projects.

Agreed to pay salaries and tuition to enable paraprofessionals to earn teaching certificates.

Fully funded health insurance for retired teachers eligible for Social Security, and authorized incentives for early retirement.

Required districts to adopt policies on reporting suspected child abuse, youth-suicide prevention.

Rejected proposals to create education trust fund, autonomous teacher-licensing board.

FLORIDA

Governor: Bob Martinez (R)

FY 1990 state budget: $23 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $5.3 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $4.8 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +11 percent

Highlights:

Raised school aid by $555 million. Districts guaranteed 8 percent increase per pupil from state and local revenue sources.

Rejected proposal to revise funding formula backed by most districts, education groups. Also defeated bills to ensure lottery proceeds are used for education enhancements, and not basic programs.

Created incentives for adoption of school-based management programs.

Raised local property-tax rate for school construction.

Denied drivers' licenses to dropouts under age 18.

Doubled funding for prekindergarten program.

MISSOURI

Governor: John Ashcroft (R)

FY 1990 state budget: $3.8 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.9 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $1.8 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6 percent

Highlights:

Approved $50-million increase in general state school aid. Legal status of budget in doubt due to state supreme court ruling requiring payment of retroactive income-tax re4bates to federal retirees. Governor has called a special legislative session in July.

Authorized, but did not fund, scholarship program for prospective minority teachers.

Altered funding formula for teacher career ladder to encourage more districts to participate.

Rejected state panel's recommendation to allow Kansas City voters to decide whether to oust current school board in favor of a temporary state-appointed governing body.

Defeated proposal to deny drivers' licenses to teenage dropouts.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Governor: Carroll A. Campbell Jr. (R)

FY 1990 state budget: $3.63 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.4 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $1.28 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +9 percent

Highlights:

Adopted school-reform bill that allows schools whose students attain high achievement levels on state tests to be freed from compliance with numerous regulations. State board to develop guidelines for program. Bill also authorizes dropout-prevention, parent-education programs; incentive grants to foster local reforms.

Defeated bills to permit early-retirement plan for teachers; raise education spending by taxing mail-order sales.

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