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Published in Print: May 24, 2000, as Legislative Update

Legislative Update

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Kansas | North Dakota | Washington | Wyoming

The following is a summary of fiscal 2001 state budgets for schools and highlights of final education-related action in legislatures. The figures for the state budgets and for precollegiate education spending include money for state education administration, but not federal, flow-through dollars. Percentage increases are based on rounded numbers, and 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.


KANSAS

Governor: Bill Graves (R)

FY 2001 state budget:$6.5 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $2.31 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $2.21 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +4.5 percent

Estimated enrollment: 469,000

Highlights:

•Budget raises state per-pupil funding to $3,820— a $50 increase for each student—and adds $20 million to current $231 million appropriation for special education.

•New law creates program to provide seasoned teachers with annual stipends of up to $1,000 in exchange for serving as mentors to other teachers. Mentors have to complete state training program and be recognized by their school districts for exemplary teaching.

• Legislature passed bill that creates incentive program for teachers to seek certification from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Teachers with such certification will receive $1,000 bonuses each school year for up to 10 years as long as they work for a Kansas district and retain a valid master teacher's certificate.


NORTH DAKOTA

Governor: Edward T. Shafer (R)

FY 2001 state budget: $797.02 million

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $291.31 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $291.31 million

Percent change K-12 budget: 0 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 113,000

Highlights:

•State is approaching second year of biennial budget. By law, biennial budget has to be distributed equally over two years.

•Budget includes $6.5 million for upgrading computer networks; linking schools to Internet and speeding online access; and teacher professional development in classroom use of technology. State initiative will provide $15 million in fiscal 2001 to develop new computer network accessible to all state government agencies and public schools.


WASHINGTON

Governor: Gary Locke (D)

FY 2001 state budget: $10.6 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $4.83 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $4.61 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +4.8 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 1 million

Highlights:

•State is approaching second year of biennial budget.

•Lawmakers are allowing districts to spend $58 million that had been slated for removal from budget because enrollment fell below state projections, provided money goes for class-size reduction and professional development. Districts with enrollment losses will also receive $4 million in so-called transition aid.

•Rules change to state's emergency-reserve fund will plow $138 million in surplus money into state's education construction fund, $35 million of which will go to build schools this year.

•Legislature added $6 million in grants for school security, and $5 million in raises for substitute teachers.


WYOMING

Governor: Jim Geringer (R)

FY 2001 state budget: $2.9 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $464.5 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $384.5 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +20.8 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 92,000

Highlights:

•In second year of two-year budget, overall education spending is slated to increase by some $80 million, in part because of ongoing litigation over state's system of financing schools. Most of money for education will go for basic school operating aid, school construction, K-12 technology, and state testing.

•Budget includes $40 million for major maintenance for existing schools, as well as $60 million for capital construction.

Vol. 19, Issue 37, Page 28

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