News in Brief
The West Virginia legislature has approved a plan to raise teacher salaries by $5,000 over the next three years. In a special session on education that ended late last month, legislators passed measures that would raise $40 million in new taxes. They also approved an education-reform bill that would give teachers a greater say in how schools are run. (See Education Week, Sept. 5, 1990.)
An Illinois emergency regulation allowing schools to re-evaluate special-education students for services without first obtaining parental consent has drawn fire from advocacy groups and parents.5
State school officials said the emergency rules were enacted in order to meet a deadline for complying with federal special-education regulations. Federal law requires schools to get parents' permission for an initial screening but not for a re-evaluation, according to Jack Shook, a manager in the state special-education office. He said officials will seek to make the change permanent when the emergency regulations expire in November.
Critics contend, however, that the change would erode parents' control over their children's education.
"It is going backwards instead of forward," said Marie Elena Montes, executive director of Illinois Fiesta Educativa, a primarily Hispanic Lspecial-education advocacy group.
The Arizona Board of Education has cleared the way for a group of school districts to sue the state over its school-finance formula.5
By its action, however, the board is not "endorsing or encouraging'' le gal action to resolve the issue, a spokesman said.
Led by officials of a Pinal County district, a group of several local sys tems have publicly discussed filing suit to challenge what they see as inequities in the state's property-tax-based method of funding the schools.
State-board members have encouraged critics of the current sys tem to seek relief through the legislature, rather than the courts. Nevertheless, members gave formal ( clearance to the districts' effort, under a state law that requires the board to review any "intergovern mental agreements" between school districts, a state official said.
Such agreements generally take the form of joint-purchasing propos als, but an agreement to file a law suit falls within the statute's pur view, the spokesman added.
State tax revenues grew by 7.5 percent in 1989, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Income, sales, and other taxes produced a total of $284 billion for the states last year, the report is sued last month found, compared with $264 billion in 1988.
Sales taxes, which provided $93.4 billion in 1989, were the largest sin gle source of state revenue, the report indicates. Other major revenue ' sources were taxes on personal in come ($88.7 billion), corporate income ($23.9 billion), and motor-fuel sales ($18 billion).
The report also reveals that eight states experienced revenue increases of more than 10 percent, led by Oregon with a 22.5 percent rise and California with 14.2 percent growth. Two states, Utah and South Dakota, had a decline in revenues.
Per-capita state revenues, which averaged $1,147 nationally, ranged from $554 in New Hampshire to $2,675 in Alaska.
Copies of the report, "State Gov ernment Tax Collections in 1989," GF89, No. 1 (003-024-07220-3), are available for $3 each from the Su perintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
Vol. 10, Issue 2