Published Online: June 10, 1998
Published in Print: June 10, 1998, as Legislative Update

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Legislative Update

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The following summarize final 1999 budgets for schools and highlights of education-related action in legislatures. Totals for K-12 education include money for state education administration, but not federal, flow-through dollars.

INDIANA

Governor:
Frank L. O'Bannon (D)

FY 1999 state budget:
$6.67 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$3.68 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$3.50 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.1

Estimated enrollment:
986,870

Highlights:

  • Legislators made no changes to previously approved education appropriation for fiscal 1999, second year of two-year budget.
  • Governor had proposed in January that legislature appropriate $5 million for remedial education for 10th graders who hadn't yet passed state's high school graduation test and $500,000 to enable students to take the Preliminary SAT for free. Lawmakers rejected his proposals, so governor opted to use administrative funds from education budgets for fiscal 1998 and 1999 for the initiatives.

KENTUCKY

Governor:
Paul E. Patton (D)

FY 1999 state budget:
$6 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$2.61 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$2.51 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+4 percent

Estimated enrollment:
660,000

Highlights:

  • Legislature approved biennial budget in April.
  • Budget sets aside $7 million for new scholarship program, which--starting in 1999-2000 school year--will provide sliding-scale scholarships to students based on need and grades.
  • New school safety programs receive $5 million in fiscal 1999 and $10 million in fiscal 2000.
  • Budget provides minimum 2.3 percent salary increase in 1998-99 school year for certified teaching and administrative staff members.

NEBRASKA

Governor:
Ben Nelson (D)

FY 1999 state budget:
$2.2 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$752.7 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$594.2 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+26.7 percent

Estimated enrollment:
291,590

Highlights:

  • Legislature passed 2.5 percent annual growth limit on school district and other local government spending. Lawmakers also fine-tuned school finance formula approved last year, establishing minimum amount for handful of schools in very sparsely populated areas.
  • In first move toward state-mandated accountability, legislature approved measure that provides for statewide tests of students' academic performance.

Testing measure also calls for statewide financial-reporting system and rewards for districts that meet certain standards, including having at least 60 percent of graduating seniors take a college-entrance exam on which, in aggregate, they score above the statewide average.

Vol. 17, Issue 39, Page 20

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