Published Online: April 16, 1997

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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on state education budgets and other education-related matters.

NEW MEXICO

Governor: Gary E. Johnson (R)

FY 1998 state budget: $2.99 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget: $1.38 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget: $1.31 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +5.3 percent

Estimated enrollment: 319,400

Highlights:

  • Governor's plan to give executive branch more control over education policy died in legislature. Mr. Johnson had proposed making state schools chief's job a Cabinet position and abolishing current 15-member state board of education and making all its members gubernatorial appointees. Governor now appoints only five of board's 10 members. Measure would have required approval of voters as well as lawmakers.
  • Another constitutional amendment proposed by Republican governor failed in Democrat-controlled legislature: It would have required that at least 50 percent of state's general fund go to public schools.
  • Legislature approved changes in school funding formula and added some $52 million to implement those changes. Formula now includes "at risk" factor to take into account a district's poverty, dropout rates, and other indicators. Most districts will see budget increases of between 3 percent and 12 percent.
  • Proposals to raise teacher salaries and boost school facilities dollars were killed as a result of filibuster launched in legislature's final days.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Governor: William J. Janklow (R)

FY 1998 state budget: $703.9 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget: $273.5 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget: $219 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +24.9 percent

Estimated enrollment: 133,900

Highlights:

  • House and Senate passed open-enrollment bill allowing parents to enroll children in any South Dakota district without paying tuition.
  • Legislation also was passed calling for new academic standards and new system of tests measuring student performance against state's classroom goals. Gov. Janklow signed both bills March 11.

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