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Published in Print: June 7, 2000, as Legislative Update

Legislative Update

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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 budget 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.


Hawaii

Governor: Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)

FY 2001 state budget: $3.10 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $1.01 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $824.89 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +22 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 182,000

Highlights:

• Hawaii is approaching second year of two-year budget. For first time, education department budget for 2000-01 includes student-transportation costs and employee fringe benefits, expenses that previously were included in budgets of other departments.

• In its supplemental budget for 2000-01, legislature approved $2.7 million to continue implementing state's academic-content and performance standards, as well as a student-assessment program.

• Legislature also approved $2.6 million to reduce pupil-teacher ratio in kindergarten through 2nd grade from 21-to-1 to 20-to-1.


MAINE

Governor: Angus King (I)

FY 2001 state budget: $2.64 billion

FY 2001 pre-K-12 budget: $934.93 million

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $848.76 million

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: +10.1 percent

Estimated enrollment: 214,000

Highlights:

• Supplemental-spending law will add $75.5 million to education budget for fiscal 2001, which was approved last year in a biennial budget.

• Lawmakers rejected Gov. King's proposal to spend $50 million to purchase a laptop computer for every 7th grader statewide. Instead, commission will be formed to recommend how to spend $30 million to increase students' access to technology.

• Spending bill also added $27 million to a revolving-loan fund for school construction projects, raising fund total to $71 million.


Montana

Governor: Marc Racicot (R)

FY 2001 state budget: $1.4 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $502.12 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $488.48 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +2.8 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 156,000

Highlights:

• In special session in May, legislators voted to add $13.5 million annually to per-pupil state funding, starting in fiscal 2001. Money was part of $31 million increase made to 2001 budget because of unanticipated budget surplus.

• In biennial budget, $790,267 was set aside for Improving Montana's Schools Project, which focuses on standards, assessment, and professional development. In fiscal 2001, second year of budget, state will spend half of that two-year allocation.

• State board of education plans to spend $400,000 on contract to develop state assessments aligned with Montana's academic standards. Tests are expected to be given next spring.

• State will continue giving $2,000 bonuses to teachers who receive certification from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In fiscal 2000, three state teachers got bonuses; six are expected to receive them in 2001.


UTAH

Governor: Michael O. Leavitt (R)

FY 2001 state budget: $ 6.9 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $ 2.24 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $ 2.13 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +5.2 percent

Estimated enrollment: 478,000

Highlights:

• Legislature increased per-pupil spending for coming fiscal year from $1,901 to $2,006, a 5.5 percent rise. Budget includes $6.5 million one-time allocation for new textbooks. Teachers got $4.4 million for school supplies, which translates to $225 each for elementary teachers and $175 for secondary teachers.

• Governor signed bill limiting sex education discussions in classroom to a message that people should abstain from sex unless married. Law also urges teachers to stress marital fidelity and state law against extramarital sex.

• Lawmakers killed bill that would have allowed students to be surveyed about drugs and violence.

Vol. 19, Issue 39, Page 20

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