Published Online: March 26, 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.

DELAWARE

Governor:
Thomas R. Carper (D)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$1.70 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$597 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$562 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.2 percent

Estimated enrollment:
112,000

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget includes an additional $1.7 million to implement new statewide assessment program. Testing will begin in spring 1998 with math and language arts tests.
  • To encourage Delaware teachers to receive certification from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Mr. Carper's budget would give such certification the same salary credit as postgraduate degree.
  • His budget would also allocate $8 million toward a $30 million, three-year effort to bring advanced technology into classrooms and prepare students for entering the workforce.

FLORIDA

Governor:
Lawton Chiles (D)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$42 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$8.05 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$7.68 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+4.8 percent

Estimated enrollment:
2,290,000

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget provides $54.6 million to pay for increased enrollment of about 53,000 students.
  • He proposes additional $30 million to enhance school safety programs, for a total of $80.4 million, and provides $28.3 million for substance-abuse and intervention programs.
  • Proposed budget provides $158 million for instructional materials.
  • Governor allocates $94 million for technology--up $27.5 million from fiscal 1997.
  • Mr. Chiles would provide $11.1 million for teacher and staff professional-development programs, including $1.5 million for teachers seeking national certification.
  • He proposes $25.4 million for dropout-prevention programs.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor:
Kirk Fordice (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$3.19 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.29 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$1.25 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.2 percent

Estimated enrollment:
506,000

Highlights:

  • Legislative Budget Committee, which annually presents its own budget to lawmakers, has made no recommendation for spending $87 million in state money this year. That money, which could climb to about $120 million if state revenue is higher than expected, could fund "Adequate Education Program," a measure that has passed both the House and Senate that would dramatically alter how state pays for public education.

PENNSYLVANIA

Governor:
Tom Ridge (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$16.92 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$5.83 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$5.72 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+1.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1,807,250

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget would spend $148 million more in basic education grants to K-12 schools. He would give poorest districts a minimum 4 percent increase and spend $10 million to reward districts that make significant academic improvements.
  • He urges legislators to pass bill to approve charter schools.
  • Budget calls for spending $34.3 million to help K-12 schools become part of Pennsylvania Education Network of computers and high-tech services.

WYOMING

Governor:
Jim Geringer (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$1.01 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$131 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$125 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+4.8 percent

Estimated enrollment:
98,600

Highlights:

  • The biennial budget includes an extra $10 million for school districts as the state prepares to implement its new school finance system. Half of that money will go to school districts based on their number of classrooms; the other half will go to districts based on their average daily attendance.
  • Legislature will reconvene in a special session in June to lay the groundwork for implementation of new finance system, which was ordered by state supreme court in 1995.

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