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Key players in Texas' school-finance debate have offered sharply different views on the need for new state spending to achieve court-ordered equity among rich and poor districts.

The Equity Center, a group of low-wealth districts in the state, last month released a plan to revamp the state's school-finance system at a cost up to $10.5 billion over five years. The proposal will be introduced in the legislature when it meets next spring to consider the school-finance issue, according to Craig Foster, the organization's executive director.

But Gov. William P. Clements has said that new taxes are not the answer to the state's school-funding problems, and that Texas could provide adequate money to schools by reallocating existing revenues.

The Equity Center's proposal does not suggest how to raise the addition4al money it argues is necessary. Mr. Foster said the center would support any legislative funding plan.

The state supreme court in October declared the state's method of financing public schools unconstitutional and gave the legislature until May 1 to devise a new plan. (See Education Week, Oct. 11, 1989.)

Georgia Military College, a unique public-private academy in Milledgeville, Ga., would become a statewide military magnet school under a legislative proposal sent to Gov. Joe Frank Harris.

The school, a two-year college and preparatory school, has been criticized in recent years for accepting state funding while also charging tuition of nearly $1,600 a year. (See Education Week, May 11, 1988).

The proposal released last month by a joint legislative committee calls for the state to spend $2.5 million to run gmc as a military magnet school beginning in 1991. Under the plan, up to $600,000 a year would be available for scholarships to black students at the predominantly white institution.

Governor Harris will probably not act on the proposal until the legislature convenes next month, according to his spokesman, Barbara Morgan.

Colorado's teacher-certification laws should be rewritten to ease entry into the profession for those without formal education training, Gov. Ray Romer has urged.

In his budget address to the legislature last month, Mr. Romer asked that a study commission be created to recommend new certification regulations to take effect in 1991.

The Governor is interested in attracting scientists and other highly qualified professionals into the state's classrooms, according to his press secretary, Cindy Parmenter.

Deborah Fallin, director of public affairs for the Colorado Education Association, said the state teachers' union is supportive of reconsidering outdated state regulations, but noted that the state already permits people without formal training in education to become teachers.

In his budget message, Mr. Romer also called for an additional $86.7 million in 1990-91 on elementary and secondary education, for which the state currently spends $1.18 billion.

Vol. 09, Issue 14

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