Governors Messages

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In other messages by governors this month:


Gov. Bruce E. Babbitt chose to address only the "care and nurturing'' of Arizona's children in his state-of-the-state address last week. He called on the legislature to provide increased funding of health, safety, and education programs.

"In recent months we have witnessed a horrifying outbreak of violence against children," the Governor said, referring to the brutal murders of three Arizona children last year. He recommended stronger sentencing laws for the "depraved individuals" responsible for criminal acts against children, but added that strong criminal sanctions are only part of the solution.

"Beneath the publicized incidents of violence, there is a pattern of endemic abuse, neglect, and indifference," Governor Babbitt said.

In his $2.32-billion state-budget proposal for fiscal 1986, a request of $277 million more than last year's appropriation, Governor Babbitt asked for a $5.4-million increase for child-protective-services caseworkers and foster care.

The needs of "latchkey" children must also be addressed, he said in advocating the use of public-school facilities before and after school hours to serve such children.

He added that the day-care system must be "scrutinized," and he recommended that licensing requirements be strengthened and that both employee standards and health programs for children in the centers be upgraded.

The Governor has proposed a $1.3-billion fiscal 1986 budget for elementary and secondary education, $221 million above the fiscal 1985 appropriation.

He has asked for an additional $20 million for school districts to3support kindergarten programs of at least three hours in length and $3.5 million for improvements in the state's enrichment programs for K-3 students.

The Governor also has directed his Council on Children, Youth, and Families to coordinate a program of public advocacy "to awaken public interest and renew parental involvement in education."

The council will work to promote "reading to and with children as the prime educational responsibility" of parents; more high-quality children's programming on television; parental participation at school; and business-school partnerships, he said in his address.


Gov. Terry E. Branstad called for agricultural recovery, the restoration of economic prosperity, and "educational excellence" in his "condition-of-the-state" message to the Iowa General Assembly last week.

Citing the state's current school-aid formula, which he said provides "equal opportunity for all students, regardless of the wealth of their school district," the Governor noted: "From access to equity, our quest now leads us to educational excellence."

The Governor, who is scheduled to present his fiscal 1986 budget this week, told the legislature he will seek a $33-million increase for education. Current state funding for education, not including aid to some special programs such as nonpublic-school transportation, is $707 million, or 31 percent of the total state budget of $2.29 billion.

Governor Branstad praised the achievement of Iowa's students, but said the state must do still more to encourage schools and teachers and reward their performance.

"Iowa's schools are only as strong as our teachers, so we must give our teachers the incentives and tools they need--as well as the rewards and recognition they deserve," he said.

The Governor endorsed a new four-level teacher-certification system that would give financial rewards to "master teachers," a one-year pilot program to investigate the use of teacher-competency testing, a recognition program for individual schools, and state grants to local districts for school improvement. He also proposed expanding the state's program to award tuition grants to needy college students.

In addition to improving the education system, the Governor called for state involvement in child safety. "It is not enough to educate our young people," he said. "We must also protect them from personal harm." He asked the legislature to give police better means to capture and prosecute child abusers, strengthen the penalties for crimes against children, help aid and counsel victims, allow the videotaped testimony of children in court, and require criminal background checks for ''sensitive" jobs dealing with young children.

"We must not be satisfied until our children can feel free from abuse, abduction, or molestation," he said.


Education remains a top priority for Gov. John Carlin, his budget message suggests. And Kansas teachers stand to reap much of the Continued on Page 22

Vol. 04, Issue 18

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