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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors' budgets for precollegiate education and highlights of proposals that rank high on the states' education agendas.

ALABAMA

Governor: Guy Hunt (R)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $7.54 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $1.98 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $1.78 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +11.5 percent

Highlights:

  • 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.
  • Governor has recommended a 5.5 percent cost-of-living increase in teacher pay, and the legislature is considering proposals for an increase of between 6 percent and 6.5 percent.

ILLINOIS

Governor: Jim Edgar (R)

FY 1994-95 proposed state budget: $14.14 billion
FY 1994-95 proposed K-12 budget: $3.44 billion
FY 1992-93 K-12 budget: $3.33 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +3.3 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor's $110 million increase for elementary and secondary education relies on approval of shifting $280 million in income-tax-surcharge receipts away from county and city budgets.
  • Increase would provide $68 million in increased state aid, $20 million for preschool programs, $10 million for teacher-retirement funding, and $10 million in district-consolidation incentives.
  • Budget plan does not include money for funding-formula changes presented this year by a bipartisan task force on school-finance reform. The proposal would have increased funding for 80 percent of the state's districts.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor: Kirk Fordice (R)

FY 1994-95 proposed state budget: $2.06 billion
FY 1994-95 proposed K-12 budget: $926.5 million
FY 1992-93 K-12 budget: $907.5 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +2.1 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has recommended that all school boards in the state be elected rather than appointed, and that the state superintendent of education be appointed rather than elected.
  • Also proposing creation of a statewide career ladder with financial incentives for teachers. Plan would award additional pay to school faculty serving at three senior levels: "advanced teachers,'' "lead teachers,'' and "master teachers.''
  • Increase in K-12 budget includes $15 million for two-year phase-in of new health-insurance plan for teachers.

MISSOURI

Governor: Mel Carnahan (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $10.9 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $2.73 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $2.48 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +9.9 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has decided not to introduce an education-reform package, in order to allow lawmakers to focus on revising foundation formula for education, which has been declared unconstitutional by a state judge.
  • A special legislative committee has proposed increasing state and local spending by $687 million to fully fund revised formula, which would guarantee a statewide minimum level of $3,450 in per-pupil spending.

NORTH DAKOTA

Governor: Edward T. Schafer (R)

FY 1993-95 proposed state budget: $1.23 billion
FY 1993-95 proposed K-12 budget: $466.4 million
FY 1991-93 K-12 budget: $449.1 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +3.8 percent

Highlights:

  • A judge has ruled that the state's entire school-finance system is inequitable and unconstitutional and ordered the legislature to establish a new system within six months that would fully comply with the state constitution by the end of four years. The state solicitor general has appealed the ruling to the state supreme court.

  • In accordance with the court order, Superintendent of Public Instruction Wayne G. Sanstead has presented a proposal for eliminating wealth-based disparities among school districts.

WISCONSIN

Governor: Tommy G. Thompson (R)

FY 1994-95 proposed state budget: $15 billion
FY 1994-95 proposed K-12 budget: $4.32 billion
FY 1992-93 K-12 budget: $4.09 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5.6 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposing to use the state's 5 percent sales tax to finance education.
  • Plan also calls for a freeze on property-tax rates in most municipalities. There would be exceptions, however, for some towns with especially low tax rates and for the state's 40 lowest-spending school districts.
  • Up to 10 "charter'' schools, freed from state rules, could be established across the state under the plan.
  • Governor also recommending elimination of an existing "children at risk'' program and redirecting its $3.5 million funding to Head Start programs.


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