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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on education-related matters.

FLORIDA

Governor: Lawton Chiles (D)

FY 1992 state budget: $12.4 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget: $5.15 billion
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $5.02 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +2.6 percent

Highlights:

Fiscal 1992 appropriation is actually 1 percent below the $5.2 billion originally appropriated by the legislature for the current fiscal year, which has since been cut as a result of revenue shortfalls.

Legislature approved school-accountability law under which the state will begin this summer training more than 10,000 educators to prepare school-improvement plans. A state commission is to report next June on performance standards, measurements, and rewards to be adopted for the 1992-93 year.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor: Ray Mabus (D)

FY 1992 state budget: $2.0 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget: $922 million
FY 1991 K-12 budget: $920 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.2 percent

Highlights:

The fiscal 1991 total does not reflect several cuts in state aid caused by continuing revenue shortfalls.

Legislature did not take up education-reform package left unfunded last year, but passed component provisions allowing the state to take over failing districts, mandating training for new school-board members, and requiring a high-school degree or equivalent for board candidates.

Funding bill trims the state education department's operating budget 13.5 percent below the 1991 level.

Lawmakers approved a $5-million plan authorizing the state to administer teacher health-insurance programs, a portion of the premiums for which would be paid by districts and teachers.

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