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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.

HAWAII

Governor: John Waihee 3rd (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $4.01 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $721.6 million
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $705.5 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +2.3 percent

Highlights:

  • Budget proposal, which is for the second year of the biennium, holds the state education department to its fiscal 1993 funding level, while for the first time allocating the funds in a lump sum to allow the department flexibility to set its own program priorities.
  • Proposal continues ongoing efforts to move schools toward site-based management, set performance standards for student achievement, and study development of a comprehensive, coordinated early-childhood system by 2000.
  • To meet the need for new and improved facilities, Governor proposing to lift the 1997 cutoff date on a special-facilities fund and allow the project to be ongoing.

INDIANA

Governor: Evan Bayh (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $15.6 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $5.42 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $5.20 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.2 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposing a 2 percent increase in basic education support in each calendar year of the new biennium.
  • Budget expands K-12 school-technology projects by reallocating existing state and federal funds and allowing a share of the funds schools levy for building projects to be placed in a technology-reserve fund.
  • Governor also proposing a new way of funding pensions for new teachers to begin to address a long-term problem of unfunded liability in the teacher-retirement fund.
  • Also seeking a new system of standards and assessments for grades 4, 8, and 10; expansion of "Discovery School'' restructuring project, which frees schools that make a commitment to try certain innovations from state requirements; increase in the compulsory-school-attendance age to 18; and creation of apprenticeship programs linking schools and businesses and a new trust fund to provide tax credits to private businesses that invest in workforce training.

MINNESOTA

Governor: Arne Carlson (R)

FY 1994-95 proposed state budget: $16.1 billion
FY 1994-95 proposed K-12 budget: $4.9 billion
FY 1992-93 K-12 budget: $2.4 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +108 percent

Highlights:

  • The large increase in education spending reflects a change in state accounting procedures. Budget officials say the actual increase in state aid to schools is 15.2 percent.
  • The Governor proposing to freeze salaries of all public employees for one year.
  • Also calling for merging education programs and other state services for children and their families into a single "one-stop shopping'' agency for children from birth through young adulthood.
  • The budget proposal includes: $25 million to help young people from low-income families finance job training or college after high school, $5 million in new funds for a youth-apprenticeship program; and $10 million in new grants to communities that develop collaborative service models for families.

NEVADA

Governor: Bob Miller (D)

FY 1994-95 proposed state budget: $2.13 billion
FY 1994-95 proposed K-12 budget: $785 million
FY 1992-93 K-12 budget: $683 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +14.9 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor pushing a major reorganization of state government to save money and provide better and more efficient services. The plan includes a merger of the department of education and the department of human resources to create a department of education, health, and human services.
  • Budget also includes new initiatives in prenatal and maternal-health and family-support programs.

VERMONT

Governor: Howard Dean (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $656.8 million
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $213 million
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $212.5 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.2 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposing state's third level-funded budget in a row in order to counter a projected deficit of $16 million.
  • Budget proposal includes program to facilitate the mainstreaming of special-education students by placing health-service providers in schools.
  • Governor proposing a welfare-to-work plan that includes education and skills training, child care, and other social services.
  • State commission recommending long-term school-finance shift that would move away from property taxes as the source of local school funds to a system under which the state would levy a uniform property tax and local income taxes would be used to pay districts' share of school budgets.

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