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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.

COLORADO

Governor: Roy Romer (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $3.35 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $1.28 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $1.19 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.6 percent

Highlights:

  • Citing estimated $328 million shortfall for school finance for fiscal 1994, Governor urging legislature to take steps to deal with perennial funding dilemma by giving local voters greater authority to raise taxes for schools.
  • Also calling for standards-based education system, with new assessments to measure progress, and for a charter-school program that would allow parents or teachers to establish public schools independent of local districts and most regulations.

NEW MEXICO

Governor: Bruce King (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $2.27 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $1.08 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $1.02 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposing a budget that would provide for a 3 percent salary increase for public school employees.
  • Opposes general tax increase for schools or other state operations and recommends that state school-funding formula continue to be reviewed.

UTAH

Governor: Mike Leavitt (R)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $2.06 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $996 million
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $941 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +5.8 percent

Highlights:

  • Newly elected Governor proposing Centennial Schools, a program under which neighborhood public school parents and teachers could form a local board of directors, go through a strategic-planning process, and then negotiate with the school district for autonomy to operate under school-based management. State officials would choose about 120 Centennial schools in the first year.
  • Also calling for increased funding for class-size reductions, at-risk program, and an education-technology initiative.

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