Legislative Update

September 06, 1989 2 min read

The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on education-related matters.


Governor: James J. Blanchard (D)

FY 1990 state budget: $7.28 billion
FY 1990 K-12 budget: $2.58 billion
FY 1989 K-12 budget: $2.44 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6 percent


Placed two school-finance proposals on Nov. 7 ballot. One would raise sales tax from 4 to 4.5 cents, dedicate new revenues to schools. Other would raise sales tax from 4 to 6 cents, reduce local property taxes, create statewide property tax. Both would raise state aid by $237 million in first year. If both proposals receive a majority, one with more votes would become law.

Budget includes “quality” provisions that would take effect if voters approve either finance proposal. Beginning FY 1991, districts would lose 3 percent of state aid for failure to administer state employability-skills test, publish annual report card; 5 percent of state aid for failure to adopt state board’s recommended core curriculum; 5 percent of state aid for failure to adopt improvement plans for all schools. Also, education department would begin school-accreditation program in FY 1993.

Earmarked $17 million for districts in which residents’ income is less than 75 percent of state average.

Allocated $5 million for incentive grants to districts that improve students’ scores on state tests.


Governor: James G. Martin (R)

FY 1990-91 state budget: $15.1 billion
FY 1990-91 K-12 budget: $6 billion
FY 1989-90 K-12 budget:ÿ20$5.5 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +9 percent


Approved measure waiving some state regulations for districts, granting flexibility in use of state funds. In exchange, districts must demonstrate gains in student performance, attendance. Also provided incentives to districts to devise merit-pay plans with input from teachers. Appropriated $450,000 in planning funds.

Rejected Governor’s call for statewide implementation of pilot career-ladder program scheduled to end this year. Continued pilot for another year.

Appropriated $127.6 million in FY 1990 for 30-step pay scale for teachers. Would provide 6 percent average annual pay raise. Rejected Governor’s proposal for 1-cent sales-tax increase to pay for raises, drew revenues instead from state highway-construction project.

Approved only $69.3 million of the $112 million needed to fully fund state’s Basic Education Program, which helps districts hire more teachers, reduce class sizes, increase course offerings, and purchase supplies.

A version of this article appeared in the September 06, 1989 edition of Education Week as Legislative Update