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Legislative Update

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Beginning this week, Legislative Update will summarize governors' budget requests for precollegiate education and highlight proposals on the states' education agendas. In coming months, it will summarize final budget actions.

ALABAMA

Governor: James E. Folsom Jr. (D)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $8.3 billion
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $2.1 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $1.95 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.7 percent

Highlights:

  • Figure for total state budget includes earmarked funds that the state does not break down by source. The monies include those from federal, state, and local sources.
  • In accordance with a state judge's order last year that found the state's schools inequitable and inadequate, Governor has put forth plan for K-12 education reform and financing.

MARYLAND

Governor: William Donald Schaefer (D)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $6.99 billion
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $2.09 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $1.99 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor's proposed cigarette tax would target $24 million in school-funding grants to poor jurisdictions, expand pre-K programs by 4,500 students, and fund programs for students with limited English skills.
  • Also seeking $2.2 million for alternative school for disruptive students.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor: Kirk Fordice (R)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $2.28 billion
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $972 million
FY 1994 K-12 education budget: $907.5 million
Percent change: +7.1 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed allowing local referendums on public school choice, which would allow students to select schools within their district or in other districts in their county.
  • Governor backing performance-pay plan for teachers that would tie top pay tier to obtaining the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification; also proposing "expert citizen-teacher'' plan, under which private-sector employees with professional expertise could teach for a year without completing standard certification process.

NEW YORK

Governor: Mario M. Cuomo (D)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $33.4 billion
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $9.3 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $9.1 billion
Percent change: +2.2 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposing giving slightly more money to districts with low levels of property wealth, a retreat from last year when he tried to shift substantial funds to poor districts.
  • Budget plan calls for $15.5 million for development of "excelsior'' schools--residential centers for students assessed to be gifted in math and science.
  • Governor seeking expansion of pre-kindergarten program and schools with integrated social services for families.

WASHINGTON STATE

Governor: Mike Lowry (D)
FY 1994-95 state budget: $16.1 billion
FY 1994-95 K-12 budget: $7.75 billion

Highlights:

  • Biennial budget was passed last year, but a revenue shortfall caused a mid-term budget adjustment.
  • Governor's supplemental budget proposes funding reductions in K-12 budget of $8 million in FY 1994 and $61 million in FY 1995.
  • Governor calling for new, $13.2 million package of programs designed to reduce violence in and around schools, provide coordinated social services to families, and train at-risk teenagers.

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