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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:

MARYLAND

Governor: Parris N. Glendening (D)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $7.47 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $2.40 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $2.28 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +5.3 percent

Highlights:

  • Majority of the education funding increases--$75 million--would go toward projected school-enrollment increases and inflation adjustments for fiscal 1997.
  • Mr. Glendening also proposes establishing a $5.3 million incentive fund to reward schools for making progress toward school-performance goals.
  • Governor calls for spending $4.2 million next year on school technology, and $2.5 million to set up alternative classrooms and other programs for students with discipline problems.
  • Budget request includes a $24 million increase in retirement benefits for school employees.

NEW MEXICO

Governor: Gary E. Johnson (R)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $2.85 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $1.32 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $1.29 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +2.3 percent

Highlights:

  • Most of proposed increase in K-12 spending would go toward funding projected enrollment growth and increased transportation costs.
  • Governor recommends that any "special project" funds be funneled into the state's equalization formula, part of his effort to turn back state education mandates and give local school districts greater control over spending and policymaking.
  • Governor's budget envisions an 8 percent tuition hike at the state's public colleges and universities.
  • Mr. Johnson would cut $5.3 million in fiscal 1996 from the public schools to help offset a projected $54 million budget shortfall. But the $5.3 million would be replaced by higher-than-anticipated federal impact-aid credits and surplus state education funds.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Governor: David M. Beasley (R)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $4.63 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $1.76 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $1.68 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +4.8 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget proposal includes a $20 million program to build computer networks and upgrade distance-learning capabilities in elementary schools.
  • Budget includes a $43 million increase in basic education spending--an adjustment for inflation and an increase in health and pension benefits for school employees. It also calls for a $6.2 million salary increase for teachers.
  • Governor's plan also would continue a 1-cent sales-tax increase expected to add $10 million to state's overall K-12 spending.

VIRGINIA

Governor: George F. Allen (R)

FY 1997-98 proposed state budget: $16.5 billion
FY 1997-98 proposed K-12 budget: $5.86 billion
FY 1995-96 K-12 budget: $5.30 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +10.6 percent

Highlights:

  • Bulk of increase in the biennial budget--$428 million over two years--covers increased enrollment as well as expanded health and pension benefits for school employees.
  • Governor's budget plan also includes $34 million in salary hikes for teachers.
  • Mr. Allen proposes spending $51 million on existing efforts to reduce class sizes in programs serving poor children.
  • Budget includes $55 million for technology grants to provide additional computers and advanced technology in each of the state's 1,800 public schools.

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