Published Online: February 19, 1997

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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors budget requests for schools and highlights of proposals on the state education agendas.

ALABAMA

Governor:
Fob James Jr. (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$8.32 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.48 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$2.32 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:
735,900

Highlights:

  • Governor seeks $30 million in new funding from state's general fund for children's welfare.
  • Mr. James also proposes an annual $100 million merit-scholarship trust fund, financed through budget cuts in the state's colleges and universities, that would help send high school students to Alabama colleges.
  • Mr. James did not offer a plan for fixing the state's school finance system, struck down last month by the state supreme court.

CALIFORNIA

Governor:
Pete Wilson (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$66.6 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$20.7 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$19.3 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+7.3 percent

Estimated enrollment:
5,976,300

Highlights:

  • Gov. Wilson is asking for $1.26 billion to continue efforts to lower K-3 class size to 20 students. He proposes increase in spending for teacher training, especially for reading teachers in the lower grades.
  • Governor unveiled plan to furnish high schools with up to 1 million additional computers.
  • Mr. Wilson reintroduced a proposal defeated last year to provide students attending poorly performing schools with tuition vouchers for other public schools or private schools.
  • Budget proposes $5 million for all-boys and all-girls academies.
  • Proposed budget sets aside $10 million for beginning-teacher training, support, and assessment program.

MARYLAND

Governor:
Parris N. Glendening (D)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$7.86 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.60 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$2.47 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.3 percent

Estimated enrollment:
767,900

Highlights:

  • Governor wants to double school construction expenditures to $138 million to address continued enrollment growth and shortfalls in local facilities funding.
  • Budget increase also includes $87 million hike in K-12 funding formula to cover increased enrollment, teacher salaries, textbooks, and school operating costs.
  • Budget seeks $35.6 million in new money for Baltimore schools as part of a finance-lawsuit settlement that must win lawmakers' approval.

OKLAHOMA

Governor:
Frank Keating (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$4.4 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.62 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$1.53 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:
620,800

Highlights:

  • Gov. Keating proposes $32 million for annual performance awards, ranging from $500 to $5,000, for teachers at top 40 percent of Oklahoma schools.
  • He also wants $13 million in mandated pay increases for career teachers, the same amount approved by legislature for 1997, but which he vetoed because of provisions the legislature had attached to the measure.
  • Governor seeks $11.6 million to connect every public high school to state computer network.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Governor:
William J. Janklow (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$703.6 million

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$273.4 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$219.0 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+11.5 percent

Estimated enrollment:
133,900

Highlights:

  • Governor is backing open-enrollment bill that would allow parents to enroll children in any South Dakota district without paying tuition.
  • Governor has decided to push for new academic standards and new system of tests measuring students against state's classroom goals.
  • Budget reflects changes occurring after state revamped school funding formula and rewrote special education funding law.

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