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Legisaltive 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.

ALABAMA

Governor: James E. Folsom Jr. (D)

FY 1995 state budget: $8.5 billion
FY 1995 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 generated from federal, state, and local sources that the state does not break down by source.
  • In both its regular session and a special session, the legislature failed to pass either substantive education-reform measures or changes in the school-finance system, both ordered last year by a state judge who ruled that the state's school system is unconstitutional.
  • The legislature did set aside $1.75 billion for a so-called "equity pool" to help less wealthy school districts, but the lawmakers did not decide how to distribute it. In August, a state judge approved a compromise plan to distribute nearly $80 million in a way that helps school districts with relatively low property wealth.

CALIFORNIA

Governor: Pete Wilson (R)

FY 1995 state budget: $40.9 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $14.76 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $14.74 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.1 percent

Highlights

  • For the third straight year, the budget provides $4,217 per student, forcing school districts to once again pay for any increases, even those needed to keep up with inflation.
  • The budget includes $30 million for "impact aid" to assist poor and limited-English-proficient children.
  • Lawmakers approved $9 million to purchase new instructional materials for children in grades K-8.

DELAWARE

Governor: Thomas R. Carper (D)

FY 1995 state budget: $1.5 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $496 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $461 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.5

Highlights

  • Budget includes $900,000 for an early-childhood program for at-risk 4-year-olds.
  • Also included is $3.6 million to set up school-safety and violence-intervention programs in 19 school districts.
  • Block grants to local districts for supplies and textbooks will increase by $1.6 million, and teacher salaries will go up by 3 percent.

RHODE ISLAND

Governor: Bruce Sundlun (D)

FY 1995 state budget: $1.6 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $458.1 million
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $415.6 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +10 percent

Highlights

  • The "guaranteed student entitlement," a bill that would have increased school spending and provided property-tax relief, died in the legislature. It was drafted in response to a ruling that the state's school-funding formula is inequitable.
  • The measure also included reforms that would have held schools more accountable for student performance, provided social services to children and families, and aimed to improve instruction.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Governor: Carroll A. Campbell Jr. (R)

FY 1995 state budget: $3.9 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $1.27 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $1.22 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4 percent

Highlights

  • Budget includes $80 million for early-childhood, parenting, and dropout-prevention programs.
  • Budget calls for a 3.6 percent pay increase for teachers, financed largely through a 1-cent sales-tax hike.
  • Budget also includes $1.2 million to buy 2,000 school buses.

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