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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.

COLORADO

Gov. Roy Romer

Governor:
Roy Romer (D)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$5.03 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.93 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$1.82 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.0 percent

Estimated enrollment:
687,000

Highlights:

  • Gov. Romer proposes giving more money to schools that improve 4th grade performance in reading and writing by at least 25 percent in next three years. Schools that failed to meet goals would face sanctions.
  • Mr. Romer's budget provides for 3 percent inflation increase for schools. State faces lawsuit from rural districts claiming inequities in how school construction and repairs are financed.

CONNECTICUT

Governor:
John G. Rowland (R)

FY 1999 proposed revised state budget:
$10.9 billion

FY 1999 proposed revised K-12 budget:
$1.64 billion

FY 1998 allocated K-12 budget:
$1.61 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+1.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:
536,096

Highlights:

  • Allocated K-12 budget for fiscal 1998 reflects $31 million increase over previously estimated budget for year.
  • Governor's budget provides $10 million in new funds to hire up to 300 new teachers to reduce class sizes in 1st and 2nd grades in poorer districts.
  • Gov. Rowland also proposes spending additional $5 million for grant program to aid summer school programs.
  • In proposing these adjustments to state's biennial 1998-99 budget, governor recommended that no more than 5 percent of new spending be spent on administration, with remainder going to classrooms.

ILLINOIS

Governor:
Jim Edgar (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$37.4 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$5.1 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$4.6 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+10.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1.96 million

Highlights:

  • Proposed increase in K-12 spending would provide for $4,225-per-pupil spending level requested by state school board and approved by legislature during fall veto session.
  • Mr. Edgar's budget adds $15 million to Governor's Technology Initiative, which assures all schools have Internet access, bringing program's total spending to nearly $60 million.
  • Budget calls for $20.1 million increase for early-childhood education, bringing total state spending on such programs to $154.2 million.

MARYLAND

Gov. Parris Glendening

Governor:
Parris N. Glendening (D)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$8.38 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.77 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$2.62 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.7 percent

Estimated enrollment:
780,559

Highlights:

  • Governor's spending plan includes $87 million increase in basic education funding formula to reflect enrollment increases and teachers' salary increases.
  • Request also includes $17 million for second year of Baltimore schools partnership, which provides extra money to the school system in exchange for improved accountability.
  • Budget plan also calls for $3 million for school library media projects and $2 million in grants for school technology.
  • As part of overall budget, Mr. Glendening is also proposing $104 million in school construction and renovation aid.

NEW JERSEY

Governor:
Christine Todd Whitman (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$18.6 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$5.9 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$5.4 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+9.3 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1.2 million

Highlights:

  • Plan would boost direct aid to districts to nearly $5 billion, not including $917 million in state-financed pension and Social Security payments for teachers.
  • Aid increase includes $285 million to poor districts to comply with court order requiring state to keep spending levels equal to those of state's wealthiest districts.
  • Governor's budget does not include $312 million in extra aid to poor districts that was recently recommended by a state judge. State supreme court is weighing whether to order that additional spending for programs including full-day preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • State budget figure reflects $1.5 billion increase over adjusted fiscal 1998 budget of $17.1 billion.

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