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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.

DELAWARE

Gov. Thomas B. Carper

Governor:
Thomas R. Carper (D)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$1.8 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$662 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$609.6 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+8.6 percent

Estimated enrollment:
111,013

Highlights:

  • Proposal includes one-time, $23 million bond bill that would provide $13 million to purchase computer hardware for schools and $10 million for minor capital improvements and renovations.
  • Plan would allot $3 million to pay for extending the school year by 12 « instructional days for the lowest-achieving third of students in grades 7-12.
  • Gov. Carper proposes guaranteeing that districts will receive at least 100 percent of previous year's per-pupil funding, so that schools can hire enough teachers early in year to compensate for enrollment increases that occur after academic year begins.

HAWAII

Governor:
Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)

FY 1999 state budget:
$6.2 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$1.11 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$1.14 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
-2.6 percent

Estimated enrollment:
189,281

Highlights:

  • Now in second year of two-year budget, the plan sets aside $709 million for state education department in fiscal 1999, down $1 million from previous year. Agencies other than education department pay for student transportation, repair and maintenance of facilities, health and mental-health services, and security for Hawaii's single statewide school system.
  • Budget will pay for extending the school year from 176 to 183 days in 1998-99. State officials could not provide estimate of how much extension would cost.
  • Teachers received 17 percent pay raise in most recent four-year contract, which runs through June 30, 1999. In 1998, $50 million was appropriated to cover pay increase; funds will be needed in fiscal 1999 as well to pay for higher salaries.

MAINE

Governor:
Angus King (I)

FY 1999 state budget:
$1.99 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$767.13 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$739.75 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.7 percent

Estimated enrollment:
217,000

Highlights:

  • State adopted fiscal 1999 K-12 budget last year in biennial spending plan, but legislators are considering proposals to boost 1999 K-12 spending with surplus tax dollars.
  • To aid school construction, Gov. King has proposed $20 million in low-interest loans and two $35 million statewide bond initiatives. Bond proposals must be approved by legislature before they are put on ballot later this year.
  • Legislature is debating change to state constitution that would require state to help local communities provide "adequate and equitable" educational services. Constitution now specifies that education is responsibility of local governments.

MICHIGAN

Governor:
John Engler (R)

FY 1999 state budget:
$32 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$9.65 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$9.4 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+2.7 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1,672,627

Highlights:

  • Fiscal 1999 budget will raise state contribution to K-12 education to a record $9.65 billion, or 80 percent of all K-12 spending. Legislators passed fiscal 1999 budget last year as part of biennial spending package.
  • Average state allowance per pupil will remain flat at $5,462. But school district allocations to state retirement system will fall from 14.6 percent to 11.2 percent of teachers' salaries.
  • Districts will receive estimated $191 million from last July's ruling against state in 17-year-old special education lawsuit. That includes $48.2 million to meet state-mandated special education costs.
  • Budget raises spending on at-risk students by $10 million, to $260 million.
  • Spending plan includes $20 million for pilot programs in lowering K-3 classroom sizes.

PENNSYLVANIA

Governor:
Tom Ridge (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$35.8 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$5.6 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$5.4 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.7 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1,804,256

Highlights:

  • Ridge administration, currently a defendant in a school funding lawsuit, wants to raise basic education funds by $120 million, or 3.5 percent, with $36.6 million going to state's 125 poorest districts.
  • Budget would provide $48.3 million to pay for third year of $132 million Link-to-Learn education technology initiative.
  • Special education would receive second-largest education budget hike, with increase of 3.5 percent, or $22 million.
  • Budget would raise school construction funding by 5.8 percent, or $13.9 million, to $240 million.
  • Governor's plan includes $1 million for new program that would encourage school districts to consolidate administrative and instructional functions.

TENNESSEE

Gov. Don Sundquist

Governor:
Don Sundquist (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$15.4 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.85 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$2.74 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+4 percent

Estimated enrollment:
884,100

Highlights:

  • Budget plan includes $66 million for certain K-12 programs, including funding for enrollment growth and a teacher salary increase, and maintains full funding of state's Basic Education Program. The BEP would provide $2.2 billion in state funding for education for fiscal 1999.
  • Gov. Sundquist has also proposed spending $3.1 million on early-childhood-education initiative for 3- and 4-year-olds from low-income families.
  • K-12 budget would provide $6.8 million for 1 percent salary increase for teachers. Raise would take effect in fiscal 1999.

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