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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors' budget requests for precollegiate education and final action by legislatures on education-related matters.

Governors' Proposals

RHODE ISLAND
Governor: Bruce Sundlun (D)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $1.54 billion
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $453 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $407 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +11 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor is backing the "guaranteed student entitlement,'' a $265 million measure, now pending in the legislature, that is designed to ease the state's reliance on local property taxes to finance education.
  • The plan also proposes increasing governance options for schools, developing statewide learning goals and assessments, and creating "child opportunity zones'' to assist disadvantaged students and their families.

VERMONT

Governor: Howard Dean (D)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $679 million
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $212 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $213 million
Percent change K-12 budget: -0.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed level-funding general state aid to education, as well as cutting categorical funds for special education in an effort to stem rising special-education costs.
  • Governor is supporting property-tax-reform legislation now being considered in the Senate. Although the legislation no longer contains a provision calling for a statewide teachers' contract, the legislature still may enact a major overhaul of education finance.

Final Action

GEORGIA
Governor: Zell Miller (D)
FY 1995 proposed state budget: $9.8 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $3.4 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $3.2 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6 percent

Highlights:

  • Budget includes a nearly $3.6 million increase for summer school programs for at-risk children in grades 4 through 8.
  • Plan will also double, to 20,000, number of children served by voluntary pre-kindergarten programs.
  • Legislature also passed a law requiring youths ages 13 and older to be tried as adults for certain violent crimes.
  • More than $100 million in lottery revenues was earmarked for education and scholarships.

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