Published Online: April 29, 1998

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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final fiscal 1999 budgets for schools and highlights of education-related action during legislative sessions. 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 1999 state budget:
$12.52 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$4.75 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$4.65 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+2.2 percent

Estimated enrollment:
1,346,623

Highlights:

  • Legislators passed bill that will tie lottery funding to four initiatives, in order of priority. They are: hope--Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally--scholarship program, universal prekindergarten, school technology, and school construction.
  • Legislature expanded its 1993 charter school law to allow private businesses and individuals to establish new public charter schools. Previous law allowed only existing public schools to be converted to charter status.
  • For fourth year in a row, legislature passed 6 percent salary increase for state teachers. Total cost this year is $192.6 million. Lawmakers also approved 4 percent raise for school bus drivers and lunchroom workers.

WEST VIRGINIA

Governor:
Cecil H. Underwood (R)

FY 1999 state budget:
$2.59 billion

FY 1999 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:

  • Lawmakers established office of educational performance audits, subsuming office of accreditation. Independent of education department and state schools superintendent, new office will evaluate the performance of school districts.
  • Lawmakers also approved $756 pay hike for all public school employees, at total cost of $33 million, as part of proposed three-year package of increases.
  • Budget includes $16.3 million for classroom computers.

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