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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final action on state education budgets and related matters. Budget totals for K-12 education include money for state education administration, but do not include federal flow-through dollars.

DELAWARE

Governor:
Thomas R. Carper (D)

FY 1998 state budget:
$1.8 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$609.6 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$554.8 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+9.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:
112,000

Highlights:

  • Budget also includes $5 million in additional funding for extra instructional time to help at-risk children meet state standards.
  • Governor also signed legislation that would restructure the Delaware Department of Public Instruction into a Cabinet-level department of education, giving education secretary responsibility for managing department budget and staff, plus freedom to suggest education initiatives to governor.

NORTH CAROLINA

Governor:
James B. Hunt Jr. (D)

FY 1998 state budget:
$11.4 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$4.5 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$4.1 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+9.5 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1.2 million

Highlights:

  • Budget includes 6.5 percent increase in teachers' salaries to boost to national average by 2000.
  • Allocates $72 million for financial incentives for schools that improve student scores on state tests under ABCs of Public Education program.
  • Lawmakers agreed to spend $23 million to expand Smart Start early-childhood program for disadvantaged students from 55 counties to all 100 counties in North Carolina.
  • School trust fund gains additional $20 million to expand classroom technology.

NEW YORK

Governor:
George E. Pataki (R)

FY 1998 state budget:
$36.4 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$11 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$10.3 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.8 percent

Estimated enrollment:
2.8 million

Highlights:

  • Budget includes $650 million increase in general, formula-based funding to school districts, boosting total state aid to nearly $11 billion.
  • Five-year budget deal includes plan to pay full cost of preschool for 4-year-olds in all participating districts. Program to be phased in, starting with $50 million in 1998-99.
  • Funds to lower class sizes in grades K-3 to start in 1999-2000 with an appropriation of $75 million and rising to $225 million annually by 2001-02.
  • A $2.4 billion school facilities bond proposal will be put before voters statewide in November.

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