The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on education-related matters.
Governor: Jim Guy Tucker (D)
FY 1994 state budget: $2.22 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $1.27 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $1.24 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +1.8 percent
- Legislature passed bill requiring the state education department
to develop by 1996-97 a comprehensive competency- and
outcome-based-assessment program linked to new curriculum
- Also approved measure to make school districts liable for a
portion of workers'-compensation claims, in order to give districts a
stake in keeping costs down by instituting stronger safety programs
and investigating erroneous claims.
- Governor used line-item veto to eliminate the $2.8 million
appropriation for county school supervisors' offices, which provide
record-keeping assistance to districts.
- K-12 budget does not include additional $100 million in revenues generated for the state's Educational Excellence Trust Fund by a half-cent sales tax approved in 1991.
Governor: Kirk Fordice (R)
FY 1994 state budget: $2.14 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $953 million
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $907.5 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +5 percent
- Legislature appropriated $18.9 million to reduce the cost of
health-insurance premiums for teachers. Beginning in fiscal 1995, the
state will pay 100 percent of health-insurance costs, at a cost of an
additional $25 million.
- Legislature also approved measure to increase teacher salaries by
at least $550 at each of four certificate levels, in addition to
regular pay raises conferred for each year of experience.
- Legislature appropriated $5.7 million to support mandate that all
school districts develop alternative programs for at-risk
- Not included in K-12 budget figures are projected revenues from a new 1 cent sales tax used to support an Educational Enhancement Fund approved in 1992. For fiscal 1993 the tax is expected to generate an additional $52.4 million for schools, and in fiscal 1994 an additional $93.8 million.
Governor: Mike Leavitt (R)
FY 1994 state budget: $2.08 billion
FY 1994 K-12 budget: $1.01 billion
FY 1993 K-12 budget: $942 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +7.1 percent
- Governor vetoed a school-construction funding bill that relied on
a statewide property tax. But the Governor's substitute plan, which
raised funds by cutting 35 sales-tax exemptions, was approved during
a one-day special session.
- Governor signed a bill clarifying the religious liberties of
students and teachers in public schools. The bill guaranteed, among
other freedoms, that students have a right to discuss religion during
lunch or between classes.
- House killed a proposed constitutional amendment that would have replaced provisions dealing with separation of church and state with language that would have allowed tax support for sectarian institutions and permitted state-sponsored prayers at government meetings.
Vol. 12, Issue 36