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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors' budget requests for precollegiate education and highlights of proposals that rank high on the states' education agendas. Final legislative action on state budgets will be reported in the months ahead.


ARKANSAS
Governor:Bill Clinton (D)

FY 1992 proposed state budget:
$1.9 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget:
$952.3 million
FY 1991 K-12 budget:
$901.6 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.6 percent

Highlights:

Legislature has approved Governor's proposal calling for increasing and expanding the sales tax in order to raise an estimated $287.2 million over two years, all of which would go to education.

Governor proposing to use $90 million in new funds this year for teacher-salary increases. Over the next two fiscal years, salaries would rise 10 percent annually.

Also seeking $5 million for new or expanded preschool programs, $100,000 for rural magnet schools, $170,000 for a new mathematics and science school, $4 million for merit-based college scholarships, $1 million to establish 10 to 12 pilot apprenticeship programs for high-school students, and $250,000 for a statewide school-restructuring effort.


MISSISSIPPI

Governor:Ray Mabus (D)
FY 1992 proposed state budget:
$2.14 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget:
$984 million
FY 1991 K-12 budget:
$920 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.9 percent

Highlights:

Governor requesting increases for minimum foundation program, state-funded health insurance for teachers, and new textbooks.

Budget includes $30.6 million for first-year cost of an education-reform bill that was passed last year by the legislature but left unfunded.


NEW MEXICO

Governor: Bruce King (D)

FY 1992 proposed state budget:
$2.02 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget:
$965.1 million
FY 1991 K-12 budget:
$928.9 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.9 percent

Highlights:

Governor calling for 3 percent increase in salary and benefits for education employees.

Also seeking review of state equalization formula within two years to determine whether it guarantees equal educational opportunities for all children.


OKLAHOMA

Governor:David Walters (D)

FY 1992 proposed state budget:
$3.4 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.15 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget:
$1.07 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
+7.6 percent

Highlights:

Governor's budget supports and funds the reforms of House Bill 1017, a school-reform and tax-increase bill passed last year. Teacher salaries would rise by $1,500, half-day kindergarten classes would begin statewide, and K-3 class sizes would decrease to 20 children.

Also proposing a $300-million bond package that would provide $35 million for a fiber-optic telecommunications network and computers for precollegiate classrooms.


PENNSYLVANIA

Governor:Robert P. Casey (D)

FY 1992 proposed state budget:
$13.1 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget:
$4.8 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget:
$4.6 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
+4.3 percent

Highlights:

Governor proposing changes to make the state's basic school-aid formula fairer to districts with large numbers of poor students and small tax bases, including lowering the floor on the minimum-aid ratio used to calculate school-district wealth, giving more aid to poorer districts, and channeling state payments for teacher Social Security and retirement programs through the basic school-aid formula.

Also proposing, for the second year in a row, a new formula for funding special education. Proposed budget would increase state spending for special education by $59 million and include $160 million in back payments to school districts for those programs.

"Hold harmless" provisions in all the proposed funding-formula changes would insure that all school districts in the state get a 1 percent increase in state funding this year.

Budget also includes $54.3 million--a 21 percent increase over the previous year--for early-intervention programs for handicapped preschoolers.


VERMONT

Governor:Richard A. Snelling (R)

FY 1992 proposed state budget:
$661.7 million
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget:
$185 million
FY 1991 K-12 budget:
$184.9 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
+0.08 percent

Highlights:

Governor seeking K-12 education package for fiscal 1992 that differs little from that approved by the legislature for 1991.

Also proposing cutbacks in some spending for the remainder of 1991, including reduction in the total state budget for education, which includes higher education and educational television, from $276.1 million to $269 million.

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