Published Online: March 18, 1998

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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.

ALABAMA

Governor:
Fob James Jr. (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$10.27 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.59 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$2.46 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.28 percent

Estimated enrollment:
739,321

Highlights:

  • Total state budget figure includes federal, state, and local funds deposited to state treasury. Officials do not break funding down by source. K-12 budget figure covers basic state foundation for education only.
  • Governor's proposals for spending $1.5 billion windfall from overpayments to state teacher-retirement fund include spending $50 million a year for 20 years toward $1 billion education bond. Of that, $576 million would go to K-12 schools for improving facilities.
  • Legislation proposed by governor would allow districts to pool resources to issue capital-improvement bond of up to $850 million.
  • Governor proposed creating $300 million merit-scholarship fund for in-state public colleges.
  • Mr. James proposed salary increase of 8.5 percent this year for all public education--K-12 and higher education--employees at a cost of $233.5 million.

IDAHO

Governor:
Phil Batt (R)

FY 1999proposedstate budget:
$1.56 billion

FY 1999proposedK-12 budget:
$741.66 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$705 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.2 percent

Estimated enrollment:
245,000

Highlights:

  • Under governor's proposal, state funds would account for 69 percent of K-12 spending in Idaho.
  • Gov. Batt's proposal includes $10.4 million to continue state's annual technology investment in schools. State contributed same amount in fiscal 1998.
  • Proposal also asks legislature to consolidate state's 112 school districts to allow for more efficient use of state tax money.

INDIANA

Gov. Frank L. O'Bannon

Governor:
Frank L. O'Bannon (D)

FY 1999 state budget:
$6.67 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$3.64 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$3.45 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.5 percent

Estimated enrollment:
986,864

Highlights:

  • Before recessing Feb. 27, Indiana legislators made no changes to previously approved education appropriation for fiscal 1999, second year of two-year budget.
  • Gov. O'Bannon proposed two new education programs for fiscal 1999. First would provide $5 million for remedial education for 10th graders having trouble passing high school graduation examination. Second would spend $3 million to keep school buildings open longer each day.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor:
Kirk Fordice (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$5.58 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$1.43 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$1.37 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+4.38 percent

Estimated enrollment:
503,967

Highlights:

  • Proposal includes $35 million to pay for second year of pay raise for Mississippi teachers.
  • Calls for rewarding excellent teachers by raising salaries of those certified by National Board for Professional Teaching Standards by $6,000 or to national average, whichever is greater.
  • Budget plan includes $16.3 million for Mississippi Adequate Education Program, established by 1997 legislature to address funding inequities among districts.

OHIO

Governor:
George V. Voinovich (R)

FY 1999 state budget:
$15.2 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$5.96 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$5.59 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+6.62 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1.8 million

Highlights:

  • State now in second year of biennial budget passed last year.
  • Under law passed last month intended to prevent social promotion, students who miss 10 percent of school year and fail two courses will have to repeat grade, starting in July 1998. Govenor signed bill last month that places proposal from 1-cent sales-tax hike on May 5 ballot to help meet state supreme court mandate to fix school finance system. Proposed tax increase would raise $1.1 billion in additional revenue.
  • Under law passed last year intended to hold school districts accountable for performance, state officials will rate districts as "effective," "improving," "needing academic watch," or "needing academic improvement" in spring 1999.

OREGON

Governor:
John Kitzhaber (D)

FY 1999 state budget:
$9.35 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$2.26 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$2.10 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+7.6 percent

Estimated enrollment:
569,000

Highlights:

  • Now in second year of two-year budget. Governor does not plan to request any supplemental funding.
  • In November, lawmakers approved plan to spend $2.9 million over next two years for pilot project that will collect detailed information about school expenditures, educational practices, and achievement results in 16 districts.

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