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Legislative Roundup

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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.

ALABAMA

Governor: Guy Hunt (R)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$7.2 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.75 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$1.66 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.4 percent

Highlights

  • Legislature is considering a $500-million tax package that represents recommendations made by a Governor-appointed tax-reform task force. The House last month defeated a provision of the bill that would have required local school superintendents to be appointed rather than elected.
  • Figure for total state budget includes earmarked funds that the state does not break down by source. The monies include federal and local funds as well as state revenues.

CONNECTICUT

Governor: Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (I)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$7.3 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.4 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$1.4 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
No change

Highlights

  • Governor proposes changing the formula for state education aid to municipalities, which would mean an overall reduction of $211 million. Increases in state aid to the poorest cities and towns would be capped at 3.6 percent, while aid to wealthier areas would be reduced.
  • For the first time, municipalities would also have to pay a portion of the state's teacher-retirement fund. Amounts would vary from 1 percent to 4 percent, depending on the area's relative wealth.
  • Budget includes funding increases for early-childhood programs, including Head Start, school-based health centers, and extended-day kindergarten in the state's three poorest cities.
  • Governor also proposes changes in state's welfare regulations that would require parents who receive public assistance to show that their children are attending school and have received proper immunizations and health screenings.

DELAWARE

Governor: Michael N. Castle (R)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$1.22 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$426 million
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$418 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
+1.9 percent

Highlights

  • Governor proposes a change in the way vocational-education students are counted, saving $5.8 million; $2.3 million of that would go to the state's block-grant program, which gives districts more flexibility in how they spend money.
  • In addition to paying step increases, budget includes money for a 1 percent pay raise for teachers.
  • Budget proposal also includes plan to build a statewide network of children's health-care clinics using money raised from a tax on hospitals and health-care facilities.

VERMONT

Governor: Howard B. Dean (D)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$659.8 million
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$220.8 million
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$220.3 million
Percent change K-12 budget:
+0.2 percent

Highlights

  • Governor has pledged that "no children's program or prevention programs'' would be cut in fiscal 1993 budget, which faces a projected deficit of $46.1 million. As part of statewide cuts in several major agencies, however, Governor has recommended a 1.5 percent cut in state aid to education. He also proposed diverting $6 million in transportation funds to redress local losses in state education aid.
  • Governor pushing "Success by Six'' early-intervention pilot program, which will provide services and resources to preschool children and their families in seven communities.

WEST VIRGINIA

Governor: Gaston Caperton (D)
FY 1993 proposed state budget:
$2.05 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.14 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget:
$1.07 billion
Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.5 percent

Highlights

  • Governor proposes spending $3.5 million to place computers in every 2nd- and 3rd-grade classroom in the state; last year, every kindergarten and 1st-grade class received computers as part of the computer basic-skills program.
  • Budget proposal includes funds for final year of a three-year, $5,000 pay raise for teachers; all teachers would receive a $2,000 raise next year.
  • Governor also proposes expanding the state's center for professional development, which pays teachers to attend summer workshops conducted by leading corporations. At least 2,500 teachers would attend this year.


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