Education

Legislative Update

February 01, 1989 5 min read
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The following are summaries of governors’ budget requests for precollegiate education and highlights of proposals that rank high on the states’ education agendas. Final legislative action on state budgets will be reported in the months ahead.

ALASKA

Governor:

Steve Cowper (D)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$2.3 billion

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$597 million

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$575 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+4 percent

Highlights

Governor proposes constitutional amendment to set aside for education up to 40 percent of future earnings from state’s oil-revenue endowment.

School aid one of few areas targeted for increase in total budget, held level over all due to economic conditions.

COLORADO

Governor:

Roy Romer (D)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$2.45 billion

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$1.01 billion

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$961 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+5 percent

Highlights

Governor seeking to establish up to 20 “creativity schools” that would be freed from compliance with state rules to conduct restructuring experiments. Plan does not require legislative approval.

Governor also backs continued implementation of new school-finance formula, additional funding for preschool program for at-risk children.

HAWAII

Governor:

John Waihee (D)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$4.3 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$951 million

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$793 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+20 percent

Highlights

Governor backs decentralizing nation’s only state-run school system; options include locally appointed or elected school boards.

Also proposes greater parental choice; creation of state fund to upgrade school facilities; providing preschool for all eligible children by year 2000.

KENTUCKY

Governor:

Wallace G. Wilkinson (D)

FY 1989-90 total state budget:

$6 billion (Approved May 1988)

FY 1989-90 K-12 budget:

$2.8 billion

Highlights

No regular session this year.

Governor to call special session on school reform. Seeks to create system of experimental “benchmark” schools, financial rewards for high-achieving districts.

Key lawmakers support increased funding to implement fully previously adopted reforms, including teacher pay raises, class-size reductions.

MASSACHUSETTS

Governor:

Michael S. Dukakis (D)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$13.5 billion

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$1.84 billion

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$1.8 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+2 percent

Highlights

Governor proposes $120-million increase in aid to cities and towns, $58-million increase in equal-education opportunity grants for FY 1989 and 1990.

Will seek legislation to create statewide open-enrollment program, drug-free school zones.

MONTANA

Governor:

Stanley Stephens (R)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$808 million

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$314 million

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$364 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

-14 percent

Highlights

Budget officials say proposed reduction in state aid due primarily to declining enrollment.

State under court order to revise school-finance system. Governor suggests spending limits in wealthy districts, distributing teacher-retirement funds through equalization formula. Five other proposals introduced in legislature.

Legislature to consider requiring elementary-school districts to offer kindergarten. Similar bills defeated in past five sessions.

NEVADA

Governor:

Bob Miller (D)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$3.8 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$670.6 million

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$540.9 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+24 percent

Highlights

Governor proposes teacher pay raises, new office to coordinate services for at-risk children, providing kindergarten statewide, smaller class sizes in early grades, appointment of “drug czar.” Would be funded in part by raising mining industry’s taxes.

Legislature required to vote within 40 days of start of session on voter-approved referendum to impose tax on corporate income; revenues earmarked for education.

NORTH DAKOTA

Governor:

George A. Sinner (D)

FY 1990-91 proposed state budget:

$1.1 billion

FY 1990-91 proposed K-12 budget:

$426.9 million

FY 1988-89 K-12 budget:

$408.8 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+16 percent

Highlights

Governor proposes $80-million “excellence” program; half of funds earmarked for districts. To qualify, districts would have to raise teacher pay to state average, provide them with cost-of-living hike; adopt state-suggested core curriculum; participate in state testing program. Funds could be used for telecommunications; consolidation expenses; studies of student achievement, curriculum; special education; administrative costs. Implementation subject to approval of related tax increases.

Governor supports bill to reduce number of districts from 296 to 48. Also supports merging state departments of vocational education and public instruction; education-department proposal to change weighting factors in school-aid formula.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Governor:

Carroll A. Campbell Jr. (R)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$3.28 billion

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$1.35 billion

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$1.28 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:

+5 percent

Highlights

Budget prepared by state panel that includes governor, treasurer, comptroller general, chairmen of Senate finance and House ways and means committees.

Governor proposes that districts whose students meet minimum levels of achievement on state tests be freed from compliance with numerous state regulations.

Also supports allowing counties to assume more debt to pay for school construction; creation of panel to study problems of at-risk children.

Legislature also expected to consider: school-construction funding; early retirement for teachers; denying driver’s licenses to dropouts.

VERMONT

Governor:

Madeleine M. Kunin (D)

FY 1990 proposed state budget:

$586 million

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$179 million

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$167 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+7 percent

Highlights

Governor’s proposals include funding to implement new statewide assessment program; teacher profes4sional-standards board; grants to districts to improve school leadership.

Governor also requests 24 percent increase in child-care funds, and $250,000 to improve training of providers; technical help for businesses considering providing child care.

State board requesting additional $5.6 million for special education, to pay for placements in out-of-state residential facilities.

WYOMING

Governor:

Mike Sullivan (D)

FY 1989-90 state budget:

$1.43 billion (adopted March 1988)

FY 1990 proposed K-12 budget:

$262.6 million

FY 1989 K-12 budget:

$204.6 million

Percent change K-12 budget:

+28 percent

Highlights

K-12 budget prepared annually by education department, is not included in state’s biennial budget.

Department recommends $50-million tax hike. Would cover expected $27-million shortfall in school-foundation program in FY 1990, restore funds cut from FY 1989 budget. Governor opposes tax plan, supports using money from state general fund to cover anticipated shortfall only.

Legislature expected to address following issues: district consolidation; student testing; improving collection of mineral taxes.

A version of this article appeared in the February 01, 1989 edition of Education Week as Legislative Update

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