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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.


CONNECTICUT

Governor: Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (Ind.)

FY 1992 proposed state budget: $7.4 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget: $1.307 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $1.299 billion (est.)
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.6 percent

Highlights:

Governor calling for establishment of state's first personal-income tax, while reducing sales tax from 8 percent to 4.25 percent.

Budget recommendation for education includes $108 million less than tentative budget for fiscal 1992..

Budget calls for redistribution of aid to local districts, causing approximately half to lose funding, while less-wealthy districts would get additional aid.

Budget also proposes increases in funding for programs targeted to desegregate schools, while cutting funds for model comprehensive programs designed to improve teacher preparation and ensure competence in the classroom.

KANSAS

Governor: Joan Finney (D)

FY 1992 proposed state budget: $2.9 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget: $1.2 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $946 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +21 percent

Highlights:

Governor has proposed shifting an additional $251 million into state school aid while reducing property taxes by $215 million.

Backing proposal to add 10 days to the current 180-day school year; also proposing to drop state funding for gifted-and-talented programs in favor of those for students with learning disabilities.

MISSOURI

Governor: John Ashcroft (R)

FY 1992 proposed state budget: $8.8 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget: $2.08 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $2.04 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +2 percent

Highlights:

Key Senate leader has withdrawn, until later in the legislative session, portions of a measure that would have provided additional revenues to increase equity in the state school-aid formula and offered incentives for districts to lengthen the school year.

Lawmakers also considering package of bills to outlaw, or severely restrict, the use of corporal punishment.

NEBRASKA

Governor: Ben Nelson (D)

FY 1992-93 proposed state budget: $2.98 billion
FY 1992-93 proposed K-12 budget: $978 million
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget: $679 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +44 percent

Highlights:

Proposed budget would raise state's share of education funding from 40 percent to 42 percent; school-finance-reform legislation adopted last year had set goal of 45 percent.

Issues before legislature include proposed changes in finance law, funding for program that boosts teachers' salaries, and establishment of a lottery whose proceeds would partially benefit education.

NEW YORK

Governor: Mario M. Cuomo (D)

FY 1992 proposed state budget: $29.1 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget: $7.88 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $8.9 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: -11 percent

Highlights:

Budget figures reflect $190-million cut in K-12 spending taken in December to compensate for budget shortfall.

Governor proposing to cushion $891-million cut in state aid to schools by lifting state mandates costing districts $300 million annually.

Calling for cutting state workforce by 18,000, or 10 percent, and eliminating Empire State and Regents college-scholarship programs.

Also seeking measures to focus state aid on neediest districts and expand federal health and child-care benefits for poor children.

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