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Legislative Update

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FLORIDA

Governor: Bob Martinez (R)

FY 1991 state budget: $27.5 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $5.2 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $4.7 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +10.6 percent

Highlights:

State education officials predict a surge in student enrollment will absorb most of budget increase approved by lawmakers.

Legislature adopted measure aimed at encouraging school districts to abolish grade retention in the early grades.

Also approved bill requiring instruction in sex education in grades K-12.

MISSOURI

Governor: John Ashcroft (R)

FY 1991 state budget: $8.41 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $1.14 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.1 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +3.6 percent

Highlights:

Budget includes increased funding for a variety of forms of aid for at-risk students, such as counseling services, dropout-prevention programs, and programs for pregnant students.

Legislature also sent to voters a proposed constitutional amendment allowing districts to increase local tax levies beyond a certain level with the approval of less than two-thirds of voters, as is currently required.

OKLAHOMA

Governor: Henry Bellmon (R)

FY 1991 state budget: $3 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $1.7 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.41 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +20.6 percent

Highlights:

After intensive struggle, legislature passed major school-reform bill that provides more funds to poorer districts, encourages consolidation of small districts, raises teacher salaries, and implements early-childhood programs and other curricular changes.

Measure funded through increases in sales tax and corporate- and personal-income taxes.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Governor: Carroll A. Campbell Jr. (R)

FY 1991 state budget: $3.9 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $1.45 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $1.39 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.3 percent

Highlights:

Legislature adopted parental-consent provision for minors seeking abortions, and required new teachers seeking certification to be fingerprinted. Created a new scholarship program for outstanding high-school students who want to become teachers.

Lawmakers considered but did not pass measures that would have: linked driver's licenses to high-school attendance; required the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools; required parents to attend school conferences if their child was truant; and created a $200-million school-construction program.

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