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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.

ALASKA

Governor: Walter J. Hickel (I)

FY 1995 state budget: $2.33 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $587.1 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $586.9 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.03 percent

Highlights:

  • Because of a fiscal crisis provoked by a sharp drop in petroleum prices, the Governor proposed no new education programs this year.

COLORADO:

Governor: Roy Romer (D)

FY 1995 state budget: $3.66 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $1.5 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $1.39 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.9 percent

Highlights:

  • Legislature enacted a new school-finance formula. Minimum per-pupil funding will increase, and districts will be eligible for additional aid based on their size and the number of at-risk students they enroll.
  • Senate killed a bill that would have given voters the opportunity to eliminate property taxes as a major funding source for education.
  • Legislature passed bill giving private school students the right to participate in public school sports and extracurricular activities.

HAWAII

Governor: John Waihee 3rd (D)

FY 1995 state budget: $4.56 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $743 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $738 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.70 percent

Highlights:

  • Voters in November will consider a constitutional amendment to alter the state school board's powers and structure.
  • A slight increase in school funding is due mostly to increased enrollment and construction costs.

MAINE

Governor: John R. McKernan Jr. (R)

FY 1995 state budget: $1.66 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $501.7 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $501.3 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.08 percent

Highlights:

  • Legislature established a panel to review the state's school-funding formula and evaluate state and local governance policies.
  • Legislature also passed a bill establishing a state magnet school for mathematics and science and voted to explore the possibility of opening a similar school for visual and performing arts.

NEW YORK

Governor: Mario M. Cuomo (D)

FY 1995 state budget: $34.2 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $9.7 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $9.1 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +6.6 percent

Highlights

  • Legislature appropriated $62 million for the repair of rundown school buildings, particularly in New York City.
  • Legislature approved Governor's proposed "Excelsior" schools for gifted students, but reduced the proposed funding and stipulated that the schools serve commuter students, not boarders as proposed.
  • Legislature increased spending on magnet schools, textbooks, and libraries.
  • Budget includes school-violence grants to pay for conflict-resolution instruction, extended after-school services, and safety programs.
  • New law will require schools to teach about human-rights abuses in history, including slavery in the United States and the Holocaust.

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