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Published in Print: May 26, 1999, as Legislative Update

Legislative Update

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The following is a summary of states' final school budgets for fiscal 2000 and highlights of education-related action in legislatures. The totals for K-12 education include money for state education administration, but do not include federal, flow-through dollars.

GEORGIA

Governor: Roy Barnes (D)

FY 2000 state budget: $13.29 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $5.28 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $4.75 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +11.2 percent

Estimated enrollment: 1.4 million

Highlights:

  • Continuing a pattern set by former Gov. Zell Miller, first-term Gov. Barnes proposed and legislature approved 4 percent increase in base salary for teachers and 3 percent pay increase for bus drivers and lunchroom workers, for total of $147 million.
  • State Superintendent Linda C. Schrenko's Reading First program received funding boost of almost 50 percent, to total of $13.9 million. The phonics-based program for early grades is now being used in 601 elementary schools.
  • Georgia's pre-K program, supported by state lottery money, will receive 3.2 percent funding increase, to $224.8 million in fiscal 2000, allowing it to serve another 1,500 children.

IDAHO

Governor: Dirk Kempthorne (R)

FY 2000 state budget: $1.67 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $821.1 million

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $796.36 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +3.1 percent

Estimated enrollment: 247,000

Highlights:

  • Legislature approved spending $4.4 million on new literacy initiative for the grades K-3.
  • Fiscal 2000 budget allocates $750,000 to expand program for limited-English-proficient students.
  • Budget also provides $200,000 to study need for improvement of public school facilities statewide.

MONTANA

Governor: Marc Racicot (R)

FY 2000 state budget: $1.09 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $474.3 million

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $469.6 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +1 percent

Estimated enrollment: 159,990

Highlights:

  • While Gov. Racicot had requested $1.3 million for upcoming fiscal 2000-01 biennial budget for Improving Montana's Schools program, legislature approved only $790,267. That money will be used to continue development of state academic standards and assessment. Legislature approved total of $953.9 million for K-12 education in new biennial budget.
  • Lawmakers approved spending of up to $15,000 annually in fiscal 2000 and 2001 to award bonuses of $3,000 to teachers who receive voluntary certification through National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Five teachers--Montana's first to receive national certification--are expected to quality for bonuses in 1999.
  • Jobs for Montana's Graduates program, a school-to-work program for 9th through 12th graders, received $828,000 for biennium--or $414,000 for each of the next two fiscal years. That represents $560,000 increase over funding in current fiscal 1998-99 biennium.

VIRGINIA

Governor: James S. Gilmore III (R)

FY 2000 state budget: $10.9 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $3.7 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $3.4 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +8.8 percent

Estimated enrollment: 1.1 million

Highlights:

  • Gov. Gilmore signed budget that includes 6 percent increase--a total hike of $112 million--in teachers' salaries in fiscal 2000.
  • Budget also includes $3.2 million over next two years to open five additional Best Practice Centers to help districts analyze data from state tests and share curriculum ideas.
  • Final budget also will dedicate all future state lottery profits--an estimated $276 million over next two yearsto basic aid to public schools. Part of lottery money could be used to construct and refurbish school buildings.

Vol. 18, Issue 39, Page 17

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