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Legislative Update

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ARIZONA

Governor: Fife Symington (R)

FY 1993 proposed state budget: $3.593 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget: $1.365 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget: $1.305 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.5 percent

Highlights

  • Governor has proposed cutting personal-income taxes. Legislative budget committee argues that, if tax reform is not approved, actual proposed state budget should be $3.677 billion.
  • Governor has introduced six measures--three in each legislative chamber--based on recommendations of his school-reform task force. The measures deal with issues of accountability, decentralization, at-risk students, open enrollment, school-finance equalization, and teacher training and professionalism.
  • State education department is backing a bill to expand career-ladder programs.
  • Lawmakers weighing a measure, backed by the Arizona School Boards Association, that restricts the legislature's ability to mandate new programs without providing necessary funding.

GEORGIA

Governor: Zell Miller (D)

FY 1993 proposed state budget: $8.13 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget: $2.93 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget: $2.79 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent

Highlights

  • Governor has proposed using bond sales and user fees to fund education reforms.
  • Also proposed restoring $65 million in state aid to schools cut last year.
  • Would increase teacher salaries 3 percent, invest $140 million in capital outlays in schools, and use $250 million in lottery revenues to fund capital outlays, voluntary prekindergarten, and college scholarships.

OKLAHOMA

Governor: David Walters (D)

FY 1993 proposed state budget: $3.61 billion
FY 1993 proposed K-12 budget: $1.26 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget: $1.15 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +9.5 percent

Highlights

  • Governor and legislature continue their commitment to fully fund the five-year school-reform law passed in 1990; the cost of that program for fiscal 1993 is estimated at about $100 million.
  • Governor has pledged for the second year in a row that there will be no tax increase.
  • Also has promised to push for more site-based management for those school districts that can meet the mandates and outcomes prescribed in the 1990 reform law. A Governor-initiated private panel, the Oklahoma Roundtable, is expected this spring to offer recommendations and guidelines for releasing qualified schools from some education department rules and regulations.

Final Action

INDIANA

Governor: Evan Bayh (D)

FY 1992-1993 state budget: $14.95 billion
FY 1992-1993 K-12 budget: $5.16 billion

  • Legislature approved "workforce develoment'' measure creating a new assessment system to be implemented in grades 4, 8, and 10 starting in the 1994-95 school year. The program will replace existing statewide standardized tests with other assessment measures, student portfolios, and records of classroom participation. A state task force has been established to set standards for the 10th-grade assessment, which high-school students must pass to graduate.
  • The measure also requires schools to institute career-options and work-values courses and aims to coordinate secondary and postsecondary technical and vocational training.
  • Lawmakers also lifted caps on "calendar year'' spending to allow school districts to receive an extra $22 million in state formula aid to compensate for unanticipated enrollment increases.
  • Approved creation of an autonomous, teacher-majority board to oversee teacher certification and licensing.
  • Cleared other measures setting aside preschool-special-education funds for grants to combine regular and special education; setting new restrictions on student employment; allowing schools to bargain for binding arbitration in teacher-dismissal cases; and establishing a commission on improving the coordination of children's services.
  • Governor vetoed a bill establishing a program to fund public-school guidance counselors, citing the fact that the measure bypassed the House Ways and Means Committee.


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