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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. Budget totals for K-12 education include money for state education administration, but do not include federal flow-through dollars.

GEORGIA

Governor:
Zell Miller (D)

FY 1998 proposed state budget:
$12.52 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$4.78 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$4.65 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+2.8 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1,346,623

Highlights:


  • To meet his goal of providing 1 million new books to school and public libraries, governor wants to spend $5.2 million on media-center materials for schools.
  • Budget also includes $500,000 to reimburse 166 home-schooled students now attending colleges or technical schools with money from Georgia's lottery-financed HOPE Scholarship program. HOPE, or Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally, covers the cost of college tuition, books, and fees for students who graduate from high school with a B average. To be eligible in future, home-schooled students will have to achieve certain scores on SAT II: Subject Tests.
  • Mr. Miller also proposes $10.3 million in grants to communities to expand after-school programs that would include focus on reading. Another $9.2 million is also included in proposed budget for grants that would support in-school reading initiatives.

IOWA

Governor:
Terry E. Branstad (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$4.5 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.96 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$1.87 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+4.8 percent

Estimated enrollment:
505,185

Highlights:


  • Governor proposes developing statewide indicators of academic achievement.
  • Budget includes $5.2 million for local collaborative efforts to improve the lives of preschoolers at risk of school failure.
  • Budget sets aside $7 million in state matching funds to provide health insurance for low-income children in conjunction with new federal funding.
  • Following recommendation of blue-ribbon panel he appointed, governor recommends state funding for daily, all-day kindergarten; $2.5 million to raise the minimum teacher salary to $23,000 annually; $9.36 million for recognition of teacher and administrator merit through annual $5,000 bonuses; and $2 million in aid to districts that want to extend school year.
  • Proposal also includes $30 million for school technology, in third year of five-year commitment.

KENTUCKY

Governor:
Paul E. Patton (D)

FY 1999 and FY 2000 proposed biennial state budget:
$31.5 billion

FY 1999 and 2000 proposed biennial K-12 budget:
$5.42 billion

FY 1997 and FY 1998 biennial K-12 budget:
$5.09 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.5 percent

Estimated enrollment:
600,000

Highlights:


  • Gov. Patton proposed spending $92 million to build and repair schools, $15 million for new school safety program, and $60 million for two-year increase in school transportation spending, from $305 million for fiscal 1997 and 1998 to $364 million in fiscal 1999 and 2000.
  • Budget includes 2 percent cost-of-living increase for public school teachers' salaries.
  • Governor seeks 10 percent increase in school technology, from $20 million to $22 million.
  • Budget provides $13 million for health-insurance program for poor children and $6 million increase in state's preschool program for poor children.

NEW MEXICO

Governor:
Gary E. Johnson (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$3.12 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.45 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$1.38 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.1 percent

Estimated enrollment:
330,000

Highlights:


  • Under governor's proposal, public schools would receive at least 50 percent of state's general fund within next five years. Fiscal 1999 proposal would channel 47 percent of state budget to schools.
  • Budget includes 3.9 percent salary increase for public school employees. Also would nearly double, to $8.4 million, current state dollars for school technology.
  • Plan includes $1.5 million in startup costs for charter schools. State currently has only five such schools.
  • New Mexico's school improvement incentive fund would increase to $11 million, from $500,000. Fund rewards high-performing schools.

WEST VIRGINIA

Governor:
Cecil H. Underwood (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$2.59 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.36 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$1.34 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+1.5 percent

Estimated enrollment:
300,395

Highlights:


  • Governor recommends that $10 million in surplus lottery proceeds be put toward classroom computers, for total spending of $26 million in coming year.
  • Proposed budget sets aside $33 million to raise all school employees' salaries by $750 next year; part of governor's plan to boost pay by $2,250 over three years.

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