Published Online: March 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.

CONNECTICUT

Governor: John G. Rowland (R)

FY 1998 state budget: $10.2 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget: $1.75 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget: $1.69 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +3.6 percent

Estimated enrollment: 535,149

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget seeks to address equity and segregation concerns raised by a state supreme court decision on school funding last summer. Among them is a recommendation that lawmakers allocate $6 million in fiscal 1998 for programs in support of 3- and 4-year-olds in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury.
  • Mr. Rowland also recommends $2 million increase in state funding for Head Start and local family-resource centers.
  • Funding for interdistrict-transfer and magnet school programs would increase from $15.4 million this fiscal year to $22.4 million.
  • Governor also recommends spending $6 million to support charter schools. State school board recently approved charters of 12 new schools.

IDAHO

Governor: Phil Batt (R)

FY 1998 state budget: $1.40 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget: $705 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget: $689 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +2.3 percent

Estimated enrollment: 245,000

Highlights:

  • Under an umbrella designation, "Building Student Successes," proposed budget includes $10.4 million for technology; $2.25 million for limited-English-proficiency programs; $1.5 million for reading improvement; $500,000 for testing; and $375,000 for mentor programs.
  • Budget recommends continuing a split of tobacco-tax money between substance-abuse education and the state department of juvenile corrections.
  • Gov. Batt did not approve state school board's request for additional $3.3 million to support its focus on needs of poor and other at-risk children.

MICHIGAN

Governor: John Engler (R)

FY 1998 state budget: $23.40 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget: $9.05 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget: $8.51 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +6.3 percent

Estimated enrollment: 1,672,500

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget continues to increase state share of K-12 education costs. He projects 5.7 percent increase in sales taxes and other mandatory school revenue. He also proposes 25 percent increase in supplemental general-fund spending for schools.
  • Mr. Engler wants lawmakers to give state the authority to take over school districts if more than 80 percent of their students fail state proficiency test or if their dropout rates exceed 25 percent.
  • He proposes spending additional $30 million next year on career preparation and technical training for high school students.

WASHINGTON

Governor: Gary Locke (D)

FY 1998 state budget: $9.37 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget: $4.37 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget: $4.24 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +3.0 percent

Estimated enrollment: 993,306

Highlights:

  • Figures represent one year of two-year budget. For fiscal 1998-99, governor's total state budget is $19.24 billion. His proposed two-year K-12 budget is $8.96 billion, an increase of 7.7 percent over current biennium.
  • Teachers and other school employees would receive 2.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment in each year of biennium.
  • State funding to equalize school property-tax levies would increase by $29.2 million, for a total of $188.8 million over two years.
  • Budget would dedicate $87.5 million to state's ongoing education reform project to determine what students should know at various grade levels, develop assessments to measure learning, and train staff members to teach the new standards.

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