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Legislative Update

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MAINE

Governor: Angus King (I)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $1.78 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $548 million
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $534 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +2.6 percent

Highlights:

  • All of the $14 million increase governor proposes for K-12 education would go into state's general-aid fund for school districts.
  • Lawmakers faced 5 percent cap on increased spending for K-12 education, but biennial budget passed last June was well within the ceiling.
  • While K-12 education portion of the budget expanded, rest of the state's budget decreased by about $45 million.

TENNESSEE

Governor: Don Sundquist (R)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $13.9 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $2.15 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $2 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed legislation that would guarantee districts state-aid estimates by July 1 for the coming school year. Currently, estimates can come several months after that date.
  • Governor proposed moving the date on which state officials issue report cards for districts and schools from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, allowing more time to gather data.
  • Pending legislation would allow suspension or dismissal of any teacher who teaches evolution as a matter of fact. Separate bills would allow students to leave school for either one hour daily, or 90 minutes weekly, to receive religious instruction.
  • Bill has been introduced that would require districts to file five-year computer-training plans for teachers, and to hire guidance counselors for all K-8 students.

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