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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.

CALIFORNIA

Governor: Pete Wilson (R)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$43.8 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$17.7 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$16.4 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
+ 7.9 percent

Highlights:

  • Budget, anticipating a 12 percent rise in local school funding, projects an increase in the state's average per-pupil spending from $5,074 to $5,287.
  • Among $100 million in new education initiatives proposed by Governor, budget would include $50 million for preschool expansion, $20 million for Head Start expansion, and $10 million each for early mental-health counseling, assistance for low-performing schools, and an interactive video-disk health-information program.
  • Spending plan includes $864 million to cover population increases. By next school year, California school enrollments are expected to rise 3.5 percent to more than 5.4 million.

IDAHO

Governor: Cecil D. Andrus (D)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$1 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$501.9 million
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$487.5 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
+ 3 percent

Highlights:

  • In his State of the State Address, Governor proposed several tax reforms aimed at heading off a citizens' initiative that would cap property taxes at 1 percent of real market value.
  • Governor also promised to restore $1?.9 million withheld from state agencies to stave off a potential budget deficit last July, about half of which will go to public schools.
  • Also pledged $5 million to fund "Strong Start" program, a blueprint designed to cultivate parental involvement, school-based management, technology use in the classroom, before- and afterschool child care, and school readiness.

MISSOURI

Governor: John Ashcroft (R)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$9.5 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$1,143 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$1.140 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
+ O. 03 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor claims to have increased education spending by $78 million. But critics contend that the claim fails to reflect that $75 million approved by the legislature in the fiscal 1992 budget was ordered withheld by the Governor to pay Kansas City's desegregation costs.
  • In his State of the State Address, Governor called for legislation to authorize the recall of school boards and severance of superintendents' contracts in "nonperforming" districts, deny driver's licenses to high-school dropouts, and allow districts to extend the school year.
  • Lawmakers are expected to introduce several measures to restructure the state's school-finance formula.
  • To offset the fiscal impact of the defeat last fall of a ballot initiative raising taxes for the schools, several bills are being considered that would increase money for public education by earmarking lottery proceeds and by increasing corporate income taxes.
  • Legislature is expected to back proposal by state board of education for state authority to take over the operation of financially bankrupt school districts.

NEW YORK

Governor: Mario M. Cuomo (D)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$30.25 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$9.1 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$9.6 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
-6.6 percent

Highlights:

  • Based on the education department's school-year budget calculation, the Governor's budget proposal would cut $240 million, or 2.8 percent, and provide $8.2 billion for 1992-93.
  • Governor proposing financial incentives for consolidation of school districts.
  • Budget plan also would cut aid to state and private universities and permit public institutions to raise tuition.

VIRGINIA

Governor: L. Douglas Wilder (D)
FY 1993-94 proposed state budget:
$12.9 billion
FY 1993-94 proposed K-12 budget:
$4.6 billion
FY 1991-92 K-12 budget:
$4.3 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
+ 7 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed restoring $182 million in state aid to schools cut last year; aid would increase $91 million each year of the biennium.
  • Governor also presented plan to equalize education funding but allocated no money for the plan, which could cost as much as $900 million over six years. Plan includes some funds for computers for poorest school districts, incentives to recruit teachers to isolated areas of state, and increased support for at-risk and limited-English students.
  • No money for teacher pay raises included in budget proposal unless revenues exceed expectations.

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