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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.

FLORIDA

Governor: Lawton Chiles (D)

FY 1992 proposed state budget: $28.8 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget: $5.16 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $5.02 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +2.8 percent

Highlights:

Governor's budget plan stresses reforms including local flexibility and accountability programs.

Would designate nearly $538 million in lottery revenues as discretionary funds for school districts, in addition to adding $25 million in new funding from lottery-overhead funds.

Budget anticipates enrollment growth of nearly 81,000 during the year, with $293 million recommended for expansion costs.

MASSACHUSETTS

Governor: William F. Weld (R)

FY 1992 proposed state budget: $13.7 billion
FY 1992 proposed K-12 budget: $1.49 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $1.51 billion (tentative)
Percent change K-12 budget: -1.49 percent

Highlights:

Governor has proposed abolishing the state board of education and replacing it with a secretariat.

Also targeting nearly every program for cuts and seeking the elimination of regional centers and the suspension of statewide student testing.

MONTANA

Governor: Stan Stephens (R)

FY 1992-93 proposed state budget: $4.7 billion
FY 1992-93 proposed K-12 budget: $898 million
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget: $722 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +24 percent

Highlights:

State department of education backing bill to add $60 million to the K-12 budget with money taken from the state general fund, and seeking measure that would cap spending by highest-spending districts.

State teachers' association pushing bill to exempt state pensions from taxation.

Teachers also seeking measure to establish interest arbitration to resolve teacher-contract disputes.

And proposing bill to ensure nontenured teachers the right to review reasons for cancellation of their contracts.

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