Published Online: March 12, 1997

Departments

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.

MISSOURI

Governor:
Mel Carnahan (D)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$10.88 billion

FY 1998 K-12 proposed budget:
$3.11 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$3.05 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+2.0 percent

Estimated enrollment:
830,000

Highlights:

  • To meet a goal of every student being computer literate by age 12, governor proposes $10 million in grants to school districts for new computers and $5 million for computer training and hooking up high-speed Internet connections.
  • Governor wants to increase spending to $26.2 million for program that offers developmental tests for prekindergarten children and parent education programs. Governor also wants to spend more--$37.3 million--on testing and therapy for 3- and 4-year-olds with disabilities.
  • To widen access to higher education, Mr. Carnahan proposes annual tax credit between $500 and $1,500 for two years of postsecondary education and a 7 percent hike in aid to colleges and universities.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Governor:
Jeanne Shaheen (D)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$959 million

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$58.9 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$45.8 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+28.6 percent

Estimated enrollment
189,300

Highlights:

  • Governor wants to double current state funding for kindergarten, from $500 to $1,000 per child. She also proposes $30 million in state bonds to cover full construction costs of local districts that need to build additional classrooms in order to provide kindergarten programs, and 75 percent of building costs for districts that already offer kindergarten but need to expand.
  • Ms. Shaheen wants to increase funding for the state's Reading Recovery program.
  • Budget proposes new state-level positions to help local districts integrate technology into classrooms.

NEW JERSEY

Governor:
Christine Todd Whitman (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$16.4 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$5.04 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$4.85 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1,209,100

Highlights:

  • Proposed budget boosts state aid to school districts by $286 million. Of that, $138.7 million is earmarked for 28 poor districts identified as needing extra money as part of state's long-running finance-equity lawsuit.
  • Spending plan includes $287.5 million to support prekindergarten and full-day kindergarten programs in state's 125 poorest school systems. An additional $175.4 million would be allocated to 193 districts for programs aimed at overcoming effects of poverty.
  • Governor wants to distribute $50 million for distance-learning networks designed to allow schools to share courses and other resources on interactive television.

UTAH

Governor:
Michael O. Leavitt (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$3.04 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.45 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$1.42 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+2.1 percent

Estimated enrollment:
478,000

Highlights:

  • Mr. Leavitt proposes increased funding for enrollment growth and increase in funding formula to pay for teacher-salary increases.
  • Budget also proposes $54 million for class-size reduction and $9 million for Utah's Technology 2000 initiative.

WEST VIRGINIA

Governor:
Cecil H. Underwood (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$2.36 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.37 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$1.31 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+4.6 percent

Estimated enrollment:
304,400

Highlights:

  • Governor seeking an additional $32 million to shore up teachers' retirement fund rather than putting the money into "modest" raises in teacher pay.
  • Mr. Underwood proposes $750,000 boost in staff development to help implement year-old Jobs Through Education Act, which aims to increase students' career awareness.

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