Published Online: March 3, 1999
Published in Print: March 3, 1999, as Legislative Update

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Legislative Update

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The following is a summary of governors' education budget proposals for fiscal 2000. The total for K-12 education includes money for state education administration, but does not include federal, flow-through dollars.

CONNECTICUT

Gov. John G. Rowland

Governor: John G. Rowland (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $ 11.6 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $ 1.74 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $ 1.64 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6.1 percent
Estimated enrollment: 545,663

Highlights:

  • Governor's proposed budget includes a $31 million increase over $1.3 billion allotted last year for state's educational cost-sharing formula, largest single line item in K-12 budget. Formula seeks to equalize funding between rich and poor districts.
  • Mr. Rowland also proposes allocating $2 million for new grant initiative to encourage districts to start summer school programs aimed at raising skills of struggling students.
  • Governor proposes that about $20 million of next year's education budget be paid for out of the approximately $300 million Connecticut is to receive over the next two years from settlement of lawsuit against tobacco companies.

DELAWARE

Governor: Thomas R. Carper (D)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $1.9 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $668.85 million
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $637.51 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.9 percent
Estimated enrollment: 113,505

Highlights:

  • Would provide additional $5 million, for total of $7.5 million, for school discipline programs based on recommendations from soon-to-be released report.
  • Adds one-time, $26.9 million allotment to regular appropriation for school construction, which was funded at $61.5 million last year.
  • As part of larger tax-cut package, Gov. Carper wants to provide 50 percent cut--up to $500--in property taxes for residents age 65 or older, who are unlikely to use public education system.

ILLINOIS

Governor:

George Ryan (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $20.7 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $5.52 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $5.18 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6.6 percent
Estimated enrollment: 2,026,527

Highlights:

  • Budget includes $41 million to raise per-pupil spending levels by $100, to $4,325, as required by school spending reforms passed in 1997.
  • Governor's proposal would also fulfill 1998 campaign pledge to devote at least 51 percent of all new state revenues to education and workforce training.
  • Mr. Ryan has also pledged to push for education initiatives not covered under his budget, including up to $500 in tax credits for people who send their children to private schools and a program that would grant $1,000 in "career scholarships" to high school students seeking to pursue job training instead of college.

IOWA

Governor: Tom Vilsack (D)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $4.7 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $1.89 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $1.80 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent
Estimated enrollment: 502,500

Highlights:

  • Gov. Vilsack proposed and legislature has already approved 4 percent hike in basic per-pupil state aid to schools for fiscal 2001, 1 percentage point higher than that for fiscal 2000. Average state per-pupil spending for fiscal 2000 is estimated at $3,309.
  • Mr. Vilsack's first budget plan also includes $10 million in coming fiscal year to go toward lower interest rates on district bonds for construction and renovation of schools. Fund would grow by $10 million each year until it reached $50 million. If approved, funding would be Iowa's first school construction aid.
  • Budget would earmark $10 million to reduce class sizes in grades K-3. That fund, too, would grow by $10 million each year until it reached $50 million. Proposal would provide some flexibility for schools to use money for better reading programs and related teacher training.

KANSAS

Governor: Bill Graves (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $4.4 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $2.23 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $2.11 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5.7 percent
Estimated enrollment: 449,900

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed spending $20 million to increase basic per-pupil state aid. Such aid would increase by $35, to $3,720.
  • Budget would spend $1 million on program for at-risk 4-year olds. Program was created last year.
  • In addition, governor proposes spending $4.1 million on efforts to support at-risk students.

MAINE

Governor: Angus King (I)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $2.2 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $599.92 million
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $591.50 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +1.4 percent
Estimated enrollment: 215,000

Highlights:

  • Legislature's joint education committee wants 6 percent increase over fiscal 1999 education budget of $591.5 million, which included $16.5 million supplemental appropriation approved last year.
  • Governor is proposing to add $20 million to existing $20 million revolving loan fund for school renovations. He is also recommending delaying two previously scheduled referendums on funding for school construction. Proposed schedule calls for $20 million bond in 2001 and $40 million bond in 2002.
  • Legislature is reviewing special education regulations to ensure they don't exceed requirements under federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

MASSACHUSETTS

Governor: Paul Cellucci (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $20.4 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $3.50 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $3.25 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.7 percent
Estimated enrollment: 970,000

Highlights:

  • Proposed budget fully funds last year of state's 1993 education reform law, which so far has generated additional $1.9 billion for public schools.
  • Gov. Cellucci's budget request would require that school districts spend 90 percent of new reform dollars "in the classrooms and not on administrative costs."
  • Budget includes $20 million to hire 2,000 new teachers--half of Cellucci administration's goal of hiring 4,000 new teachers.
  • Proposal includes $41 million for School Building Assistance Program, which will pay for 58 new schools.

MISSOURI

Governor: Mel Carnahan (D)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $15.9 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $3.77 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $3.65 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +3.2 percent
Estimated enrollment: 893,000

Highlights:

  • Governor has proposed spending $15.5 million to implement the Jump Start program, a plan to provide child care at elementary schools for pre-K pupils.
  • Mr. Carnahan recommends spending $1.1 million to wire 125 school districts for Internet use, completing four-year-long effort to provide such links for all Missouri districts.
  • Governor also asking for $1.5 million for A+ program, a plan to encourage students to attend college.

MONTANA

Governor: Marc Racicot (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $1.09 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $473.09 million
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $469.6 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +0.74 percent
Estimated enrollment: 159,982

Highlights:

  • In biennial budget, Gov. Racicot is seeking $1.3 million to continue Improving Montana's Schools program to create state academic standards and assessment. That initiative, authorized in 1997 law, received only $350,000 in previous biennium; governor has requested nearly $529,000 for fiscal 2000 and about $768,000 for fiscal 2001.
  • Mr. Racicot is asking for $50,000 to begin offering $5,000, one-time incentive to every teacher who earns national certification from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
  • Governor also is requesting increased funding for Jobs for Montana's Graduates program, school-to-work program for 9th through 12th graders affiliated with national Jobs for America's Graduates program. Biennial budget includes nearly $404,500 for fiscal 2000 and about $404,200 for fiscal 2001, up from $125,000 approved for program in 1999.

NEVADA

Governor: Kenny Guinn (R)
FY 2000 state budget: $1.56 billion
FY 2000 K-12 budget: $553 million
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $507 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +9.1 percent
Estimated enrollment: 311,063

Highlights:

  • Gov. Guinn's first biennial budget includes $13 million to help schools that aren't meeting state education standards. Money would be used to provide remedial help.
  • Governor is recommending that legislature roll four different categorical programs into one fund called "distributive schools account" to allow schools more flexibility in spending state dollars. Four programs involved are special education, class-size reduction, elementary school counseling, and adult high school diplomas.

NEW JERSEY

Gov. Christine Todd Whitman

Governor: Christine Todd Whitman (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $19.2 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $6.08 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $5.98 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +1.7 percent
Estimated enrollment: 1.2 million

Highlights:

  • Formula-driven state aid to districts would rise by $330 million, to $5.2 billion, for increase of 6.8 percent. Increase would be partially offset by $251 million drop in state payments for teacher retirement benefits.
  • Aid to 28 urban districts covered by funding-equalization court order would rise by $68 million, to $2.38 billion.
  • Proposed rate of growth in state education spending is down sharply from last year's 11.3 percent increase.
  • Budget would allocate $312.7 million for preschool and full-day kindergarten in poor districts, up by $10.2 million from current school year.

NEW MEXICO

Governor: Gary E. Johnson (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $3.3 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $1.54 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $1.47 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.8 percent
Estimated enrollment: 330,000

Highlights:

  • Proposal includes more than $18 million to launch private-school-voucher program that would be available to estimated 100,000 poor K-12 students in its first year. Eventually, under governor's plan, vouchers would be available to any student, regardless of family income.
  • Governor has threatened to veto budget bills and call Democratic-controlled legislature into special session if lawmakers do not approve tax cuts and school vouchers by the end of regular 60-day legislative session this month.
  • Budget includes nearly $1.2 million for charter school "stimulus" fund, part of governor's platform to expand school choice. Bill to increase number of charter schools in New Mexico--from five to 100 over next five years--cleared Senate education committee Feb. 19.
  • Budget includes 2.5 percent average pay hike for all school employees, although governor has proposed task force to study performance-based pay.

NEW YORK

Governor: George E. Pataki (R)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $37.1 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $12.05 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $11.78 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +2.3 percent
Estimated enrollment: 2.8 million

Highlights:

  • Instead of funding $270 million package of programs that he and lawmakers had agreed to last year, Gov. Pataki proposed providing block grants totaling $200 million per year that districts could use as they wished. Programs that would be affected, among others, include $100 million for preschool, $75 million for class-size reduction, and $50 million for school maintenance.
  • Budget proposal would increase total state aid to school districts by $269 million, far smaller than last year's increase of $847 million. Districts would get aid increases ranging from 1.25 percent to 3 percent.
  • State aid for school construction would rise by $120 million--to $970 million annually--under budget plan.

NORTH CAROLINA

Governor: James B. Hunt Jr. (D)
FY 2000 proposed state budget: $13.1 billion
FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $5.41 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $5.09 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6.3 percent
Estimated enrollment: 1.27 million

Highlights:

  • Gov. Hunt proposes spending $81 million to expand his Smart Start, early-childhood-enrichment program, to all children who qualify in state's 100 counties.
  • Budget includes additional $255 million to help raise teachers salaries to national average. Teachers would receive average 8 percent raise under the plan, which also includes $7.7 million to encourage teachers to help students in tutoring programs before and after school and on Saturdays.
  • More than $14 million would be provided for incentives for veteran teachers to mentor first- and second-year colleagues.
  • Principals and assistant principals would receive up to 9 percent in salary increases; smaller increases are proposed for superintendents and central-office workers.

Vol. 18, Issue 25, Pages 30-31

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