Published Online: April 2, 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.

ILLINOIS

Governor:
Jim Edgar (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$18 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$4.40 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$4.17 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.5 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1,960,000

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget recommends that legislature provide more equitable school funding formula, but does not include new state taxes.
  • Budget proposes $15 million increase for state technology initiative; the total funds are $45 million.
  • It also includes $123.9 million for state preschool programs and $20 million to pay for early-intervention programs.
  • Budget requests full actuarial funding for teacher-retirement system and $26.1 million for health insurance for retired teachers.

KENTUCKY

Governor:
Paul E. Patton (D)

FY 1998 state budget:
$5.73 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$2.51 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$2.43 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.3 percent

Estimated enrollment:
660,000

Highlights:

  • Biennial budget was approved by legislature last April.
  • Budget allocates $10 million for fund that rewards schools that show improvement under state's testing program, and $16.2 million for 1997 and 1998 for administrative costs for improving the program.
  • Budget provides $2 million for transportation costs for children attending private schools.
  • It also asks districts to use extra revenue for annual raises of $900 for teachers.

LOUISIANA

Governor:
Mike Foster (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$5.58 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.04 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$1.98 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.0 percent

Estimated enrollment:
797,933

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed one-time expenditures of $105 million, including $75 million for computer technology and scientific equipment for schools and $10 million for a fund to implement school accountability through technical assistance for low-achieving districts and rewards for high-achieving ones.
  • Governor has proposed one-time expenditures of $105 million, including $75 million for computer technology and scientific equipment for schools and $10 million for a fund to implement school accountability through technical assistance for low-achieving districts and rewards for high-achieving ones.
  • Mr. Foster is seeking $165 million in ongoing funds for education. Of that, $65 million for boosting teacher salaries would come from governor's request to legislature not to lower state sales tax in July.
  • He proposes to give $5 million in interest-free start-up loans to groups that want to open charter schools.

TENNESSEE

Governor:
Don Sundquist (R)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$6 billion

FY 1998 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.33 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$2.15 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+8.3 percent

Estimated enrollment:
875,670

Highlights:

  • Governor's budget would boost state spending on health care by $116 million to help provide coverage for all minors.
  • Budget would save $50 million by trimming 4 percent from higher education and eliminating 1,753 state jobs, including 40 positions from the state department of education.

TEXAS

Governor:
George W. Bush (R)

FY 1998-99 proposed state budget:
$47.42 billion

FY 1998-99 proposed K-12 budget:
$19.88 billion

FY 1996-97 K-12 budget:
$21.38 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
- 7.5 percent

Estimate enrollment:
3,740,260

Highlights:

  • Gov. Bush wants legislature to raise state cap on charter schools, which is currently set at 20.
  • Governor backs plan to lower property taxes by $3 billion a year. Plan would be paid for, in part, by cutting $1 billion in state spending and implementing a new business tax.
  • Governor's budget proposes spending more money to expand school-based reading academies that help diagnose early reading problems.

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