Gov. Michael Rounds (R) • Jan. 8
In an address centering on fiscal prudence, Gov. Rounds asked legislators to spend $3 million on classroom laptop computers for 4,600 students and 400 teachers in the next school year, under an existing program. He would also direct $4 million more in salary support to school districts in tight labor markets. But he warned lawmakers not to divert money to local schools from three state trust funds. He also complained of being unfairly accused of scrimping on school funding in the $404 million K-12 school budget, out of a $3.5 billion total state budget, he proposed in December. He said that his budgets, including a 2.5 percent increase for fiscal 2009, have kept schools ahead of inflation, but he maintained that districts have used the increase to pad their general-fund reserves.
A version of this article appeared in the January 30, 2008 edition of Education Week