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Legislative Updates

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The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on education-related matters.

NORTH DAKOTA

Governor: Edward T. Schafer (R)

FY 1993-95 biennial state budget: $1.25 billion
FY 1993-95 biennial K-12 budget: $468.3 million
FY 1991-93 biennial K-12 budget: $449.1 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.3 percent

Highlights

  • Legislature minimally funded an incentive program for cooperation and consolidation among rural schools.
  • Also curbed the ability of counties, school districts, and townships to levy local property taxes by limiting increase to no more than 3 percent in the first year and 2 percent in the year after that.
  • State court struck down state school-finance system, but legislature did not address the issue pending an appeal of the case to the supreme court.

WASHINGTON STATE

Governor: Mike Lowry (D)

FY 1993-95 biennial state budget: $16.8 billion
FY 1993-95 biennial K-12 budget: $7.75 billion
FY 1991-93 biennial K-12 budget: $7.29 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6 percent

Highlights

  • As passed by legislature, education budget includes $58 million for a new performance-based education system, which creates statewide learning goals and gives significant authority to schools.
  • FairStart counseling program for schools was eliminated and a block-grant program for school districts was reduced by 24 percent.
  • Allocation to schools for administrative staff was cut by $40 million statewide, representing a 10 percent reduction for each district.

WYOMING

Governor: Mike Sullivan (D)

FY 1994 state budget: $806 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $507 million
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $499 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +1.6 percent

Highlights

  • Legislature approved bill giving policymaking autonomy to the state's teacher-standards board.
  • Also cleared legislation requiring school districts to give reasons for firing non-tenured teachers.
  • K-12 budget includes some funds from state operating budget, as well as substantial revenues from other sources, including federal mining royalties and severance taxes.
  • Education budget includes $1,500 increase in the classroom unit, a funding figure based on enrollment and district facilities.


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