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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.

GEORGIA
Governor: Zell Miller (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $8.17 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $3.03 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $2.79 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +8.6 percent

Highlights:

  • Legislature has already approved proposal by Governor for establishment of charter schools, to operate free of many state regulations with their own performance-based accountability measures.
  • To fund charter schools, Governor proposed establishing a public-private partnership with $2 million in state money and matching grants from local and private sources.
  • Governor also proposed raising compulsory-education age from 16 to 18.
  • Urged state professional-standards commission and universities to work with U.S. Defense Department to help military personnel get into teaching careers.
  • Proposed establishing a special council to issue a yearly report on progress of state schools.

MICHIGAN
Governor: John Engler (R)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $7.97 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $2.31 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $2.21 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Legislature has approved and voters are set to consider in June a proposal by Governor calling for local school property taxes to be cut by 20 percent over three years.
  • Also would provide for state school-funding formula to be reworked to guarantee a state grant of $4,211 per student.
  • Called for wealthier districts to lose state aid for Social Security and retirement benefits.
  • Governor sought to redistribute adult-education funds, with competitive bidding by nonprofit agencies, public schools, and private contractors for $240 million in funds.

MONTANA
Governor: Marc Racicot (R)

FY 1994-96 proposed state budget: $3.7 billion
FY 1994-96 K-12 budget: $852 million
FY 1991-93 K-12 budget: $880 million
Percent change K-12 budget: -3.1 percent

  • Legislature has adopted a revised school-finance formula that bases state aid on statistical projections of individual districts' spending patterns, favoring low-revenue districts.

OKLAHOMA
Governor: David Walters (D)

FY 1994 proposed state budget: $4.93 billion
FY 1994 proposed K-12 budget: $1.37 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $1.26 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +8.7 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has faulted progress under the comprehensive tax- and education-reform law passed by the legislature in 1990.
  • Said schools should use local resources to insure that every public school is air-conditioned, make computers available to every student, provide before- and after-school child care, and have a school-based health clinic.
  • Also called for statewide public school choice and punitive measures for high school dropouts who fail to get their General Educational Development certificate.

TEXAS
Governor: Ann W. Richards (D)

FY 1994-95 proposed state budget: $36.75 billion
FY 1994-95 proposed K-12 budget: $14.64 billion
FY 1992-93 K-12 budget: $14.01 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.5 percent

Highlights:

  • K-12 funding total does not include $1.4 billion proposed for the biennium as state's contribution to the teacher-retirement fund. Total also does not reflect $750 million in bond proceeds earmarked for school-construction projects that must win statewide voter approval.
  • Governor seeking a 5 percent pay increase for teachers, costing $317 million, but lawmakers are not expected to approve the extra spending.

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