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Published in Print: March 17, 1999, as Legislative Update

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.

ALABAMA

Gov. Donald Siegelman

Governor: Donald Siegelman (D)

FY 2000 proposed state budget: $14.3 billion

FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $2.89 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $2.77 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +4.3 percent

Estimated enrollment: 736,800

Highlights:

  • Gov. Siegelman's budget plan includes $21 million to pay for additional two days of training for teachers. He also seeks to spend $11 million to hire 200 new K-3 teachers.
  • Budget would offer $4 million to expand state education department's reading initiative, a statewide effort to help students read at or above grade level.
  • Proposal also would set aside $5.2 million to meet legislative mandate to hire one school nurse in all 128 Alabama school districts.
  • Governor has also proposed creation of state lottery with all revenues specifically earmarked for education, including college scholarships, prekindergarten programs, and school technology.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor: Kirk Fordice (R)

FY 2000 proposed state budget: $3.7 billion

FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $1.56 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $1.44 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +8.3 percent

Estimated enrollment: 502,000

Highlights:

  • Governor is asking that teachers receive 3 percent pay raise in fiscal 2000 as part of 10 percent total increase over next three years. Three percent raise would cost state $31.7 million.
  • Budget includes full funding of $373,500 for the Eminent Scholars Program, which awards scholarships for students with high test scores and good grades to attend Mississippi colleges and universities.
  • Governor is requesting increase in funding, to $31.2 million, for Adequate Education Program, which provides basic state foundation aid to school districts.

OREGON

Governor: John Kitzhaber (D)

FY 2000-01 proposed state budget: $10.7 billion

FY 2000-01 proposed K-12 budget: $4.50 billion

FY 1998-1999 K-12 budget: $4.38 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +2.7 percent

Estimated enrollment: 541,000

Highlights:

  • Biennial budget would add $100 million for School Improvement Fund to help students meet state's academic standards.
  • Budget would raise $50 million in bond funds for education technology to link classroom voice, data, and video communications to Internet.
  • Plan would provide $20 million for a "distressed schools fund" to help schools overcome multiple barriers to improved student achievement.
  • Also would add $3.5 million to expand Oregon's prekindergarten programs to reach half of all eligible children.
  • Proposes $3.3 million total to help implement statewide K-12 database.

TEXAS

Governor:

Gov. George W. Bush

George W. Bush (R)

FY 2000-01 proposed state budget: $96.4 billion

FY 2000-01 proposed K-12 budget: $22.88 billion

FY 1998-99 K-12 budget: $19.82 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +15.4 percent

Estimated enrollment: 3.9 million

Highlights:

  • Governor's education budget proposes $2 billion in tax relief for local school districts over fiscal 2000-01 biennium.
  • Budget would raise discretionary state aid to local school districts by $1 billion over the biennium to about $21 billion. Governor wants funds to be used for raising teacher salaries and school improvement. Funds are allocated as part of per-pupil state aid.
  • Gov. Bush proposes $172 million in new spending for programs tied to his plan to end social promotion of academically unready students.
  • Spending plan would raise funding for textbooks by $167 million, to $490.9 million, and add $35 million for new teacher reading academies.

VERMONT

Governor: Howard Dean (D)

FY 2000 proposed state budget: $13.4 billion

FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $659.44 million

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $632 million

Percentage change: +4.3 percent

Estimated enrollment: 104,800

Highlights:

  • Vermont is in its second year of phasing in Act 60. That 1997 law changed state's school finance system by abolishing local property taxes and creating new statewide education fund. For fiscal 2000, governor is proposing additional $554,000, for total of $2.6 million, to cover costs of administering, analyzing, and reporting assessment results mandated by Act 60.
  • Budget plan includes new, $600,000 allotment for reading readiness and $400,000 for early mathematics programs, to help students meet state standards.
  • Governor also proposes spending additional $300,000 in state education department administrative funding earmarked for continuing implementation of Act 60.

VIRGINIA

Governor: James S. Gilmore III (R)

FY 2000 proposed state budget: $10.8 billion

FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $3.8 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $3.5 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +8.6 percent

Estimated enrollment: 1.1 million

Highlights:

  • To reduce class sizes, governor proposes spending $8 million to hire 400 new teachers in fiscal 2000, first year of his biennial budget, which lawmakers recently passed.
  • Mr. Gilmore also proposes setting aside $1.5 million in his fiscal 2000 budget to open five additional Best Practice Centers to help school districts analyze test data and share curriculum ideas.
  • Governor's budget also proposes to dedicate all future state lottery profits--an estimated $245 million in new money over next two years--to basic aid to public schools.
  • Budget plan also includes $60 million to construct and refurbish old school buildings in fiscal 2000.

WASHINGTON

Gov. Gary Locke

Governor: Gary Locke (D)

FY 2000-01 proposedstate budget: $19.7 billion

FY 2000-01 proposedK-12 budget: $9.38 billion

FY 1998-99K-12 budget: $8.82 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +6.4 percent

Estimated enrollment: 951,000

Highlights:

  • Figures reflect two-year biennial budget periods, for fiscal 1998-99 and fiscal 2000-01.
  • Governor's budget would provide $40 million to match new federal funds to allow hiring of up to 1,000 new classroom teachers for elementary schools.
  • Budget would add $52 million to state's learning-assistance program, which attempts to ensure that low-income school districts don't lose financial incentives when their students' test scores improve. Short-term grants would also go to help low-achieving schools modify their curricula and teaching practices.
  • Budget proposal would let schools that improved test scores by 25 percent in three years share in nearly $16 million in performance awards.

Vol. 18, Issue 27, Page 24

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