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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of spending and program proposals for precollegiate education and final action by legislatures on education-related matters.

Proposals

LOUISIANA

Governor: Buddy Roemer (D)

FY 1991 proposed state budget: $8.6 billion
FY 1991 proposed K-12 budget: $1.7 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.6 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4 percent

Highlights:

Basic school-aid budget prepared by state board, constitutionally protected against reductions. If board, legislature disagree on figure, spending will remain at FY 1990 level.

In his State-of-the-State Address, Governor proposed that the state implement the "Writing to Read" computer-software program in all elementary schools by the fall.


Final Action

COLORADO

Governor: Roy Romer (D)

FY 1991 state budget: $2.66 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $1.13 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.05 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +8.4 percent

Highlights:

Legislature approved measure requiring intradistrict open enrollment and pilot program of interdistrict choice in three districts.

Passed school-finance bill that changes schools to state's fiscal year and results in more state aid.

Also approved measures reforming teacher-tenure system, by allowing dismissal proceedings against unqualified teachers; authorizing alternative certification of teachers; and guaranteeing student-press rights, with authority to faculty adviser to direct publication.

CONNECTICUT

Governor: William A. O'Neill (D)

FY 1991 state budget: $7.05 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $1.29 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.20 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.3 percent

Highlights:

Legislature agreed to tap reserve funds to eliminate budget deficit without severe spending cuts or tax increases.

Also voted to expand state's mastery test to 10th grade, create an advisory board on teacher-certification standards that includes representatives of teachers' unions, and require districts to develop uniform statistical profiles for each school.

Adopted comprehensive truancy initiative, which creates a statewide definition of nonattendance and outlines the responsibilities of school districts and juvenile-justice agencies in dealing with the problem.

Authorized the creation of a school-business forum, which will set an agenda for school-business collaboroject." Over the course of this year's experience, students, teachers, administrators, parents, city officials, and citizens who care deeply about Chelsea have become companions and neighbors. When every Chelsea child's right to a high-caliber education is met, then we will say "community," and we will say it with admiration for all whose fortitude and good judgment made it so.

Our aspirations are anchored in the knowledge that Chelsea's children can be given the educational opportunities they need to become the sort of men and women whose lives are fulfilling and whose contributions are enduring. Those adults of tomorrow are the children who inspire us today.

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