The following is a summary of fiscal 2000 state budgets for schools 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.
Governor: Mike Huckabee (R)
FY 2000 state budget: $3.29 billion
FY 2000 K-12 budget: $1.67 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $1.59 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent
Estimated enrollment: 451,000
- For fiscal 2001, second year of state's biennial budget, Arkansas has allocated $3.49 billion for overall state spending, $1.77 billion of which is slated for K-12 education.
- Budget includes $23 million in tax cuts for fiscal 2000 and $52 million in tax cuts for fiscal 2001.
- Fiscal 2000 budget includes $4.75 million for state School for the Deaf and $8 million for state School for the Blind.
Governor: George H. Ryan (R)
FY 2000 state budget: $20.68 billion
FY 2000 K-12 budget: $5.55 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $5.18 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.1 percent
Estimated enrollment: 2.03 million
- New governor has fulfilled campaign pledge to spend more than half of all new state revenues on education; $503 million, or 57 percent of new revenues, will go to K-12 schools and postsecondary programs.
- Fiscal 2000 budget also includes $29 million increase in spending on early-childhood initiatives, summer school programs, and grants geared to improving students' reading skills in the early grades.
- Tapping $5 million in state funds and $50 million in federal dollars, budget allocates money to lower class sizes and hire 2,500 new teachers this year. Gov. Ryan describes move as first step toward goal of hiring 10,000 new teachers over next four years.
Governor: Cecil H. Underwood
FY 2000 state budget: $2.66 billion
FY 2000 K-12 budget: $1.39 billion
FY 1999 K-12 budget: $1.35 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +3 percent
Estimated enrollment: 295,800
- Budget earmarks $16.3 million in lottery money to enhance computer resources in middle and high schools--a continuation of Computer Basic Skills Program.
- Teachers and other state workers will receive pay increases of $756 in second year of three-year effort to raise salaries by $2,250.
- First year of new college-aid program allots $2 million dollars in lottery proceeds to merit-based scholarships that will pay expenses up to cost of tuition. High school graduates with B averages or better will be eligible for aid. Governor had proposed $6 million in general revenue funds for the program.
- Funding for exceptional students will go up 6 percent, to nearly $16.9 million.
Vol. 18, Issue 40, Page 13