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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.

CALIFORNIA

Governor: Pete Wilson (R)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $41.73 billion
FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $15.80 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $15.12 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor's request would increase per-pupil spending from $4,231 to $4,292, the first increase in five years.
  • Budget would set aside $514 million to pay back loans included in previous years' budgets.
  • Budget includes $8 million to pay for a new statewide assessment; $23.5 million had been earmarked for the program in a bill the Governor vetoed last year.

HAWAII

Governor: Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)

FY 1996 proposed state budget:$3.3 billion
FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $745 million
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $732 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +1.78 percent

Highlights:

  • Education was one of a few areas to escape cuts Governor proposed to eliminate a projected $250 million shortfall over the next two years.
  • Governor's first-year request for this biennium largely mirrors that of his predecessor, John Waihee 3rd. By law, the budget is due to the legislature 30 days before the January session starts, just as Governor Cayetano was being installed.

ILLINOIS

Governor: Jim Edgar (R)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $16.23 billion
FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $3.86 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $3.66 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor proposed funding to finish a $75 million computer network that is to equip all schools.
  • Budget would uphold Governor's promise not to raise taxes.
  • Governor vowed to sign any bill allowing waivers from state rules and backed a bill that would create up to 45 charter schools.
  • Senate has passed a bill that would allow up to 2,000 Chicago students to receive tuition vouchers that could be used at any school, including religious schools.

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