The following are summaries of final actions by legislatures on education-related matters.
Governor: Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (I)
FY 1993 state budget: $7.3 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $1.33 billion
FY 1992 K-12 budget: $1.33 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: No change
- Budget reduces state aid to local schools by $32 million and includes changes in the funding formula under which 20 of the state’s wealthiest communities may lose up to 80 percent of their state aid.
- Legislature approved changes in the way cost-of-living adjustments will be calculated in the pensions of teachers who retire after Sept. 1, by tying increases to the annual earnings of the State Teachers’ Retirement Fund and to increases in Social Security payments. If the retirement fund earns at least 8.5 percent, teachers will receive the same adjustment as that given to Social Security recipients, up to a maximum of 6 percent. If the fund earns less than 8.5 percent, teachers will receive a maximum adjustment of 1.5 percent.
- Also approved legislation amending the state’s controversial binding-arbitration law by authorizing municipal legislative bodies to reject initial arbitration decisions with a two-thirds vote and by requiring arbitrators to consider the fiscal condition of a municipality.
Governor: L. Douglas Wilder (D)
FY 1993-94 state budget: $13.1 billion
FY 1993-94 K-12 budget: $4.6 billion
FY 1991-92 K-12 budget: $4.2 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +9.1 percent
- Legislature ended Virginia’s status as the only state mandating appointed local school boards by approving legislation allowing elected boards. Referendums to institute school-board elections can appear on local ballots this fall, and voters may elect board members in 1994.
- Governor vetoed bill that would have required girls under age 18 to notify a parent before they could have an abortion.
- Governor proposed a plan to equalize funding between school districts, but did not include any money for it in his budget. The legislature re-established a commission on equity to study the plan and report back next year. After the Governor agreed to delay his proposed repeal of the sales tax on nonprescription drugs, lawmakers used that money to help fund an $80-million package of extra aid to districts with the highest concentrations of low-income students.
A version of this article appeared in the June 03, 1992 edition of Education Week as Legislative Update