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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 on the states' education agendas.

NORTH DAKOTA

Governor: Edward T. Schafer (R)

FY 1995-97 proposed budget: $1.35 billion
FY 1995-97 proposed K-12 budget: $499.6 million
FY 1993-95 K-12 budget: $468.3 million Percent change K-12 budget: +6.7 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed a $25.5 million fund--to be distributed outside the current aid formula--that would be earmarked for equalizing funding across districts.
  • A proposal from Senate leaders would put an additional $35.5 million into a retooled aid formula.
  • A proposal from education groups urges a half-cent state sales tax and a 2.25 percent boost in state income taxes. The plan would put an extra $151 million into the current funding formula.

NEW JERSEY

Governor: Christine Todd Whitman (R)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $15.9 billion
FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $4.11 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $3.93 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.6 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposed a $100 million increase in aid to poor districts in a move to comply with a state supreme-court mandate.
  • She also proposed a one-third decrease in "transition aid" for wealthy districts.
  • Penalties of less state aid proposed for districts that spend 30 percent more than the state average on administration.
  • Governor will delay a proposed school-voucher plan for Jersey City at least one year by naming a commission to study the idea.

NEW MEXICO

Governor: Gary E. Johnson (R)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $2.76 billion
FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $1.27 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $1.22 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.1 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposed a 3 percent pay hike for all public school employees. Proposal would provide a minimum $22,000 salary for teachers and at least $6 an hour for noncertified school employees.
  • Also proposed criminal-background checks and licensure fees for those seeking certification from the state board of education.

VIRGINIA

Governor: George F. Allen (R)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $7.52 billion FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $2.7 billion FY 1995 K-12 budget: $2.6 billion Percent change K-12 budget: +3.8 percent

Highlights:

  • Most of the proposed $100 million increase for public education is due to rising enrollment and a 2 percent hike in teacher salaries.
  • The budget also includes $10 million in preschool programs for at-risk 4-year-olds.
  • Governor's proposals to promote charter schools and to make sex education optional have been rebuffed by state lawmakers.

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