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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.

CONNECTICUT

Governor: Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (I)
FY 1994-95 state budget: $8.1 billion
FY 1994-95 K-12 budget: $1.7 billion

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed increasing biennial budget to $8.2 billion, but no significant new education funding.
  • Legislature is considering a plan--already approved by the state board of education--to create a performance-based education system by setting standards for K-12 students.
  • Under the state's voluntary-desegregation law, cities and towns are expected to devise regional integration strategies by the end of the year.

MAINE

Governor: John R. McKernan (R)
FY 1994-95 state budget: $3.34 billion
FY 1994-95 K-12 budget: $1 billion
Proposed supplement, K-12 budget: $2.7 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.27 percent

Highlights:

  • Total state budget includes $14 million increase for this year approved last week by the legislature, which is also considering a plan to add $15 million to be spent in the second year of the biennial cycle.
  • Additional spending proposed for 1995 includes $2.2 million for school restructuring and other school programs, and $500,000 for magnet schools focused on science, mathematics, and art.
  • Governor has also proposed expanding the state's youth-apprenticeship program.

VIRGINIA

Governor: George F. Allen (R)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $6.4 billion
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $3.0 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $2.8 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.1 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed a two-year, $102 million "educational opportunity and achievement'' initiative, including $37.5 million for grants to disadvantaged schools to help reduce the size of K-3 classes and $8.3 million in grants for educational-technology programs in secondary schools.
  • Budget plan also includes $20.3 million to expand preschool programs to cover 30 percent of at-risk 4-year-olds.
  • Seeking $50,000 to convene a "Parental Involvement Summit'' to be chaired by state education leaders.

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