The legislature increased state aid to public schools by $121
Lawmakers passed a measure requiring school districts to offer
merit pay for teachers.
A measure that would have turned state education standards into a
voluntary pilot program failed to survive the session. Lawmakers
also killed a bill that would have banned corporal punishment in
Governor: Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)
FY 1996 state budget: $3.17 billion FY 1996 K-12 budget: $740
million FY 1995 K-12 budget: $732 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +1 percent
The state board of education had requested funding for 300 new
classroom teachers next year; the budget would pay for about
200. Many resource teachers working on the development of
curriculum and other statewide professional-development
activities will be moved back to classrooms over the next two
The budget reduces the number of state and district
administrators by 20 percent over the next two years.
Lawmakers appropriated $18 million to connect 93 high
schools, mostly in rural areas, to the state fiber-optic
A new law requires lawmakers to set the state's
school-spending levels two years in advance. Previously,
lawmakers passed school budgets just before the upcoming
fiscal year began.
The legislature app~rop~r~iated $900,000 for a
school-to-work pilot program called "Career Pathways"
that finances school and business partnerships.
A new welfare-reform program would require young
parents to live at home and work toward a high school
diploma or an equivalency degree in order to receive
welfare. The requirement must get federal approval
before it can be enforced.
The budget includes a 2.3 percent pay increase for
public school employees.
The Governor also signed into law a measure to
grant $46.5 million to schools to expand their
access to technology. Interested schools will
receive $10,000 grants to begin networking
computers and developing automated school
libraries and media centers.
A "parental responsibility" act will hold
parents financially liable for their children
who misbehave at school.