Published Online: March 25, 1998

Departments

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.

ALASKA

Governor:
Tony Knowles (D)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$2.4 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$707.5 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$670.1 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.6 percent

Estimated enrollment:
125,000

Highlights:

  • Gov. Knowles' proposal includes $20 million for initiative designed to give districts financial incentive to implement state standards in reading, writing, and mathematics; mandatory testing; and mandatory remedial help for students who aren't making the grade.
  • Governor has also proposed separate school construction legislation that would authorize $850 million over next 10 years to finance state's backlog of school repairs. Plan would be paid for in part by state's newly increased tobacco tax.

RHODE ISLAND

Governor:
Lincoln C. Almond (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$1.94 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$539.6 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$521.23 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.5 percent

Estimated enrollment:
153,605

Highlights:

  • Governor's proposed budget includes increase of about $12.1 million over the $17.7 million budgeted for two funds set up to help districts serving poor and urban populations.
  • Governor Almond wants $1 million increase over current $3.6 million allocation for early-childhood programs.
  • A $1 million increase has been pledged for teacher training; last year, state allocated about $840,000 for such professional development.
  • In recommending budget for state human-services department, Mr. Almond has also proposed spending $1 million in fiscal 1999 to begin greatly expanding eligibility for state assistance for child care as part of new program called Starting RIght.

WYOMING

Governor:
Jim Geringer (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$1.9 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$83.3 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$62.1 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+34 percent

Estimated enrollment:
96,504

Highlights:

  • Budget reflects figures for second year of biennial budget, which was passed last year.
  • Budget includes estimated $27 million for school technology and student-assessment funding.
  • Governor recently signed school finance measure that increased district funding by $76.5 million, to total of $166.7 million for education in the 1999-2000 biennium. Biennial education budget for 1997-98 was $124.1 million.

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