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Published in Print: June 23, 1999, as Legislative Update

Legislative Update

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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.

FLORIDA

Governor: Jeb Bush (R)

FY 2000 state budget: $48.9 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $7.07 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $6.73 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +5.1 percent

Estimated enrollment: 2.3 million

Highlights:

  • Total budget figure reflects local and state contributions and includes $1 billion package of tax cuts--largest in state history--that will provide homeowners with average annual savings of $100.
  • In a precedent-setting move, lawmakers passed Gov. Bush's statewide voucher plan, which will allow students at poor-performing schools to attend qualified public, private, or religious schools.
  • Education spending plan collapses money for separate supplemental programs geared to boosting student achievement into one $527 million fund. Districts can now choose to spend the money on remedial instruction, reading initiatives, summer school, after-school programs, mentoring programs, or tutoring.
  • Budget includes $34 million for teacher training and professional development as part of governor's education reform initiative.

MINNESOTA

Governor: Jesse Ventura (Reform)

FY 2000-01 state budget: $23.4 billion

FY 2000-01 K-12 budget: $7.78 billion

FY 1998-99 K-12 budget: $7.48 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +4 percent

Estimated enrollment: 847,000

Highlights:

  • Budget provides largest increase in funding in 10 years, including $90 million to reduce class sizes in grades K-3 and $100 million to defray costs of special education.
  • Unable to reach compromise on changes, lawmakers left in place state's Profile of Learning, a controversial set of performance-based graduation requirements.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor: Kirk Fordice (R)

FY 2000 state budget: $3.85 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $1.59 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget: $1.44 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +10.4 percent

Estimated enrollment: 502,000

Highlights:

  • Budget includes 8 percent pay raise for teachers.
  • Mississippi Student Achievement Improvement Act of 1999 will shift focus for accreditation from districts to include individual schools, which will be measured against annual performance standards.
  • Lawmakers appropriated additional $500,000, bringing total to $3 million for the Critical Teacher Shortage Act. Programs include scholarships, moving expenses, and other incentives for people willing to teach in designated teacher-shortage areas.

Vol. 18, Issue 41, Page 22

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