Legislature approved a bill that will impose a 10 percent income-tax
surcharge on districts that fail to levy a minimum property-tax rate
of 25 mills.
Voters will decide in November 1996 whether to adopt a
constitutional amendment that would allow districts to share
revenue for maintenance and operations statewide. Another amendment
would require districts to levy a minimum of 25 mills for
maintenance and operations.
The public will also vote on a $3.5 billion highway-expansion
program that the Governor has said is vital to Arkansas's
economic stability and future education funding.
Legislature's biennial budget allocates as much as $1.32
billion to K-12 education for fiscal 1997.
In addition to the general-fund K-12 budget, 1 cent of the
state's sales tax is earmarked for the state's
education-enhancement fund and is expected to generate $189
million. The money will be used for general K-12 education
expenditures and property-tax relief.
Teachers received salary increases based on education and
experience levels. The legislature also approved a separate
measure that increases the salary of attendance officers by
$700 each and raises their travel allowances.
Lawmakers authorized spending $300,000 to create a state
Center for Educational Analysis that will track
information on education issues.
Governor: Marc Racicot (R)
FY 1996 state budget: $969 million FY 1996 K-12
budget: $413 million FY 1995 K-12 budget: $409
Percent change K-12 budget: +1 percent
Beyond the basic appropriation, another $3.5 million
was approved to pay for school building projects on an
Legislature refused federal funding to participate in
the Goals 2000 program.
Increase in aid to schools will accommodate
Montana's rising enrollment, which is expected to
go up by 6,000 students next fall.
Voters will decide in November 1996 whether to
consolidate governance of the state's
higher-education and K-12 systems.