The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on state education budgets and other education-related matters.
Governor: Tom Ridge (R)
FY 1996 state budget: $16.1 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $5.63 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $5.38 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.7 percent
- The legislature did not pass the governor's education package, including a plan to help pay private school tuition.
- All districts received at least a 1 percent increase in basic aid.
- The special-education funding formula was changed, resulting in a 33 percent cut for the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh districts.
Governor: Tommy G. Thompson (R)
FY 1995-97 state budget: $17.39 billion
FY 1995-97 K-12 budget: $6.33 billion
FY 1993-95 K-12 budget: $4.69 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +35 percent
- The substantial increase in the biennial education budget reflects a change in the state-aid formula to provide property-tax relief. The state share of school funding is to increase to two-thirds, from about half.
- Lawmakers approved the governor's proposal to expand the Milwaukee voucher program to include religious schools; the state supreme court has blocked the expansion pending consideration of a suit challenging the law.
- The legislature also approved the Governor's proposal to scrap the state education department and create a new, cabinet-level agency headed by a gubernatorial appointee.