Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors' budget requests for precollegiate education and highlights of proposals on the states' education agendas.


Governor: Arne Carlson (R)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $8.8 billion
FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $2.85 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $2.78 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +2.5 percent


  • Figures are for the first fiscal year of the state's biennial budget. In his supplemental budget for the biennium, Governor proposes spending an additional $100 million on K-12 programs in fiscal 1996 and 1997.
  • Governor has designated about $58 million of the supplement as "transition to accountability" aid. Money for reducing class sizes would be available to districts that worked with teachers on changing some collective-bargaining procedures this year.
  • Another $9.6 million from the supplemental budget would be set aside to help districts that found they had not raised enough local revenue when state officials altered weighting factors for elementary school students and thereby changed state-aid allocations.
  • Mr. Carlson also proposes changing state rules for the way districts spend property-tax revenue, a change that makes his proposal for state education funding look more parsimonious than it is.

Districts now use 37 percent of their property-tax receipts in the year they are collected, combined with 63 percent of receipts from the previous year. The Governor has proposed having them use 48 percent immediately, and retain 52 percent for the following year--which would give districts a one-year windfall that would allow the state to cut aid to schools without affecting their bottom lines. The measure would give the state a one-time savings of $165.9 million in fiscal 1996.


Governor: Bob Miller (D)

FY '96-'97 proposed biennial state budget: $2.5 billion
FY '96-'97 proposed biennial K-12 budget: $958.3 million
FY '94-'95 biennial K-12 budget: $851.7 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +12.5 percent


  • K-12 budget figures are for the state's "distributive school account," which finances basic state aid to school districts. Administrative funds for the state education agency and money for several small education-related programs are requested separately.
  • Governor has requested an additional $111 million over the biennium for an ongoing class-size-reduction program. The initiative began with kindergarten and 1st-grade classes in earlier years and would be extended to the 3rd-grade level.
  • Budget also proposes one-time expenditures of $29 million for school-library technology, $4 million for school-to-work programs, and $11.2 million for technology to improve student-records transfer.
  • Mr. Miller has proposed that all Nevada public schools be required to earn accreditation from a regional accrediting association.
  • Teacher pay would go up under the Governor's proposal, which would raise state employees' salaries 4 percent in the first year of the biennium and 3 percent in the second year.


Governor: George E. Pataki (R)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $32.36 billion
FY 1996 proposed K-12 budget: $9.70 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $9.79
Percent change K-12 budget: -0.9 percent


  • Governor proposes freezing state aid to school districts at fiscal 1995 levels.
  • Budget includes a 30 percent staff reduction at the state education department and cuts in several categorical-grant programs, including "Excellence in Teaching" grants to supplement teacher salaries.
  • Governor also seeks $183 million in savings through the repeal of legislative mandates that require middle school instruction in technology, home and career skills, and foreign languages.


Governor: Mike Lowry (D)

FY 1996 proposed state budget: $8.49 billion
FY 1995 proposed K-12 budget: $4.12 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $3.95 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.3 percent


  • Figures are for first fiscal year of the biennial budget. Governor has proposed spending $8.5 billion total on K-12 education in fiscal 1996 and 1997.
  • Budget includes a 2.9 percent cost-of-living raise for teachers and other school employees, effective Sept. 1, and a 3.1 percent increase the following year.
  • Governor proposes spending about $130 million on education reform during the biennium, for efforts such as student assessments that are being developed by the state Commission on Student Learning.

Vol. 14, Issue 26

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