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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors' budget requests for precollegiate education and final action by legislatures on education-related matters.

Governors' Proposals

FLORIDA

Governor: Bob Martinez (R)

FY 1991 proposed state budget: $26.22 billion
FY 1991 proposed K-12 budget: $9.4 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $8.88 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5.9 percent

Highlights:

  • Budget includes 3 percent raise for teachers; legislature expected to seek a larger increase.
  • Governor asking for $30 million to place instructional computers in schools; also proposing ungraded schools for K-3 students.
  • Almost 60 percent of new money in the budget will be used to absorb costs of 110,000 new students expected next year.

Final Action

IDAHO

Governor: Cecil D. Andrus (D)

FY 1991 state budget: $908 million
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $450 million
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $394 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +14.2 percent

Highlights:

  • Budget includes $15 million for one-time improvements, $13.3 million to reduce class size in grades K-3, and $16.4 million to boost teacher salaries by 9.4 percent.
  • Legislature approved open-enrollment bill.
  • Lawmakers defeated measures that would have altered school-funding formula, consolidated district elections, and created a separate state-level board for higher education.

KENTUCKY

Governor: Wallace G. Wilkinson (D)

FY 1991-92 state budget: $8.8 billion
FY 1991-92 K-12 budget: $4.05 billion
FY 1989-90 K-12 budget: $3.12 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +29.8 percent

Highlights:

  • Legislature passed a bill revising almost every aspect of the school system, spurred by a state supreme court decision ruling the prior system unconstitutional. Bill included $1.2 billion in new taxes, most of which will go to education.
  • Bill calls for the reorganization of the state department of education, the creation of an appointed state commissioner's post, a performance-based system of rewards and sanctions for schools, and a mandate for school-based management.
  • Also includes a new financing system to close the gap between the richest and poorest districts, and provisions for ungraded primary classes, family-resource centers, upgrading technology in schools, and mandates for new assessments.

MARYLAND

Governor: William Donald Schaefer (D)

FY 1991 state budget: $11.6 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $2.1 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.9 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +10.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Legislature approved increases of $1.8 million for Maryland Tomorrow, a dropout-prevention program, and $2.1 million for pre-K programs. Also approved $80 million for school construction and renovation.
  • Also approved a bill creating a quasi-independent, teacher-majority professional-standards board for teachers.

WASHINGTON

Governor: Booth Gardner (D)

FY 1990-91 state budget: $13.34 billion
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget: $6 billion
K-12 change for FY 91: +$204.8 million

Highlights:

  • Legislature approved Governor's statewide "choice" plan; also created a program pairing teacher interns with "cooperating teachers."
  • Also added a 15th step to the state's teacher-salary schedule.
  • Budget includes $100 million for new school construction and roughly $1,000 per teacher for classroom supplies.

WEST VIRGINIA

Governor: Gaston Caperton (D)

FY 1991 state budget: $1.76 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $983.4 million
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $949.8 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +3.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Budget includes "equity" pay raises for teachers and service personnel, based on county property wealth; increases range from 1.5 percent to 3.8 percent.
  • Also includes $107 million to fully fund teacher-retirement program.
  • Legislature passed law requiring "fair and equitable" property valuation; bill mandates state training of assessors and calls for reassessment of entire state within three years.
  • As part of an agreement ending a statewide teachers' strike, legislative leaders promised to seek a special session this summer to consider an education-funding plan.

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