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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on state education budgets and other education-related matters.

CONNECTICUT

Governor: John G. Rowland (R)

FY 1996 state budget: $9.8 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $1.39 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $1.34 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +3.7 percent

Highlights:

  • The state approved a biennial budget for 1996 and 1997 this summer. In fiscal 1997, the state is expected to give $1.4 billion in aid to school districts.
  • The legislature passed a law that increases the amount of time it takes for teachers to qualify for tenure and limits the length of teacher-dismissal proceedings.
  • Lawmakers approved a law increasing districts' flexibility by repealing reporting requirements, allowing classes on some holidays, and increasing the education commissioner's waiver authority.

DELAWARE

Governor: Thomas R. Carper (D)

FY 1996 state budget: $1.6 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $530 million
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $496 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +6.8 percent

Highlights:

  • The bulk of the increase in the education budget will go for a 3 percent salary increase.
  • Budget includes $2.7 million in grants for school districts to develop curricula as part of a state standards initiative approved by the school board in June.
  • In addition to general-fund aid, districts will receive $30 million over the next three years to support technology in the classroom.

NORTH CAROLINA

Governor: James B. Hunt Jr. (D)

FY 1996-97 state budget: $20.22 billion
FY 1996-97 K-12 budget: $7.98 billion
FY 1994-95 K-12 budget: $7.22 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +10.5 percent

Highlights:

  • Legislators cut about $20 million from the education department's $53 million budget.
  • The governor was successful in ending an outcomes-based-education pilot project.
  • The budget includes money to plan for the expansion of the "SmartStart" preschool program.

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