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Published in Print: March 1, 2000, as Legislative Update

Legislative Update

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The following is a summary of governors' proposed education budgets for fiscal 2001. The figures for the state budget and for precollegiate education spending include money for state education administration, but not federal, flow-through dollars. Estimated enrollment reflects the state's projected public school enrollment for 2000-01, unless otherwise noted. Depending on the state, figures may or may not include prekindergarten spending and enrollment.

ALASKA

Governor: Tony Knowles (D)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $2.4 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $702 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $707.9 million

Percent change K-12 budget: -0.8 percent

Estimated enrollment: 132,000

Highlights:

•Governor's spending plan, which he is calling a "children's budget," would expend less on education than last year, mostly because of declining enrollment.

•Budget would redirect $7.5 million originally earmarked for regular school operating aid to expand a school improvement program known as the Quality Schools Initiative, which pays for districts to align curriculum with state standards, among other purposes. Funding for the initiative would rise from $16 per pupil to $52 per pupil.

•Governor proposes expanding an early-childhood health program, toughening oversight of child-care centers, raising spending on foster care, and increasing funding for the university system.


CONNECTICUT

Governor: John G. Rowland (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $12.3 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget: $1.84 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $1.76 billion

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: +4.5 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 555,000

Highlights:

•Among governor's handful of proposed adjustments to the biennial budget passed last year is a $34 million electronic network—paid for by the state's budget surplus—linking K-12 and higher education institutions with businesses and a new digital library. Some of the money would pay for wiring schools to use the network, but the allocation would not affect the pre-K-12 budget.

•Mr. Rowland proposes giving families an annual tax credit worth up to $500 to help offset the cost of private school tuition.

•State's charter schools also would see their per-pupil state allocation edge upward—from $6,500 to $7,000 a year—under governor's proposed budget adjustments.


GEORGIA

Governor: Roy Barnes (D)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $14.42 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget: $5.47 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $5.02 billion

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: +9 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 1,440,000

Highlights:

•Governor proposes $3 million to create an office of education accountability, which would administer a new statewide accountability system and monitor student performance for all levels of education in the state, pre-K through higher education.

•Mr. Barnes also wants to use $30 million from the settlement between states and the nation's tobacco companies to put a nurse in every school.

  •Governor proposes increasing from $1,694 to $3,375 the amount the state spends per student for students served by alternative school programs, for a total of $13 million.


HAWAII

Governor: Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $5.11 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $1.24 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $1.22 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +1 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 182,000

Highlights:

•Hawaii is in the second year of a two-year budget. In his supplemental budget, governor proposes spending an additional $2.7 million to continue implementing state's content and performance standards, as well as a student assessment program.

•Governor also wants to spend $4.4 million to hire more regular education teachers who are trained to teach special education students in their classrooms

Mr. Cayetano proposes $7.9 million to help comply with a consent decree that requires the state to improve mental-health services for special education students.


IDAHO

Governor: Dirk Kempthorne (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $2.9 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $1.23 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $1.16 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +6.0 percent

Estimated enrollment: 245,800*

Highlights:

•In his second budget since taking office, Gov. Kempthorne proposes $2.5 million to create a loan program to finance school facility improvements.

•Governor also wants to spend $500,000 on a new grant program to help districts offer students options such as distance learning and evening courses. Program's details are not final.

•Mr. Kempthorne also proposes $40,000 to develop a state test for reading instructors.

*Enrollment is for 1999-2000 school year.

Vol. 19, Issue 25, Page 22

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