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Published in Print: March 24, 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.

OHIO

Gov. Bob Taft

Governor: Bob Taft (R)

FY 2000 proposed state budget: $20.1 billion

FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $6.48 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $6.09 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +6.4 percent

Estimated enrollment: 1.75 million

Highlights:

  • Governor's biennial budget plan for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 would devote almost half of all new general fund spending to schools. The money totals $842 million over two years. Budget figures above also include an estimated $686 million in lottery funding for schools for fiscal 2000.
  • As part of statewide school safety initiative, budget would earmark $40 million to open new alternative schools for disruptive students.
  • As Ohio Supreme Court weighs whether school finance system meets state constitutional standards, Mr. Taft also proposes devoting surplus budget money for both years of biennial budget to school construction and repairs. For fiscal 2000 alone, state budget surplus is expected to top $400 million.

WEST VIRGINIA

Governor: Cecil H. Underwood (R)

FY 2000 proposed state budget: $2.7 billion

FY 2000 proposed K-12 budget: $1.38 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $1.35 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +2.2 percent

Estimated enrollment: 295,800

Highlights:

  • Governor's spending plan earmarks $17.8 million from anticipated $116 million in lottery proceeds for computers in middle and high schools and related staff development.
  • Budget would raise salaries of all state workers, including teachers and other school employees, by $756--second of three annual raises of that amount.
  • Mr. Underwood proposes allotting additional $6 million toward first year of two-year program to support qualifying students by paying 70 percent of their tuition at in-state colleges and universities. West Virginia already spends $13 million on similar student-grant program.
Gov. Tommy G. Thompson

WISCONSIN

Governor: Tommy G. Thompson (R)

FY 2000-01 proposed state budget: $41.2 billion

FY 2000-01 proposed K-12 budget: $9.56 billion

FY 1998-99 K-12 budget: $8.59 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +11.3 percent

Estimated enrollment: 880,000

Highlights:

  • Gov. Thompson has proposed spending $175 million over course of his state's two-year biennial budget to link public schools to Internet.
  • Also over two years, governor wants to allocate $50 million to lower class sizes for at-risk students in grades K-3.
  • Mr. Thompson is asking lawmakers to approve $10.2 million to develop high school graduation test. Students would be required to pass that exam by 2002-03 school year.

WYOMING

Governor: Jim Geringer (R)

FY 1999-2000 proposed state budget: $3.8 billion

FY 1999-2000 proposed K-12 budget: $740.63 million

FY 1997-98 K-12 budget: $633 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +17 percent

Estimated enrollment: 97,000

Highlights:

  • State is in first year of current biennial budget.
  • Figure for proposed total state budget does not include funding for K-12 education, which is being treated separately because of separate school finance negotiations.
  • Mr. Geringer recently signed school finance legislation, which will add about $25.4 million to budget, over and above previously proposed $740 million K-12 budget for fiscal 1999-2000.

Vol. 18, Issue 28, Page 19

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