The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on state education budgets and other education-related matters.
Governor: John G. Rowland (R)
FY 1996 state budget: $9.8 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $1.39 billion
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $1.34 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +3.7 percent
- The state approved a biennial budget for 1996 and 1997 this summer. In fiscal 1997, the state is expected to give $1.4 billion in aid to school districts.
- The legislature passed a law that increases the amount of time it takes for teachers to qualify for tenure and limits the length of teacher-dismissal proceedings.
- Lawmakers approved a law increasing districts' flexibility by repealing reporting requirements, allowing classes on some holidays, and increasing the education commissioner's waiver authority.
Governor: Thomas R. Carper (D)
FY 1996 state budget: $1.6 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $530 million
FY 1995 K-12 budget: $496 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +6.8 percent
- The bulk of the increase in the education budget will go for a 3 percent salary increase.
- Budget includes $2.7 million in grants for school districts to develop curricula as part of a state standards initiative approved by the school board in June.
- In addition to general-fund aid, districts will receive $30 million over the next three years to support technology in the classroom.
Governor: James B. Hunt Jr. (D)
FY 1996-97 state budget: $20.22 billion
FY 1996-97 K-12 budget: $7.98 billion
FY 1994-95 K-12 budget: $7.22 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +10.5 percent
- Legislators cut about $20 million from the education department's $53 million budget.
- The governor was successful in ending an outcomes-based-education pilot project.
- The budget includes money to plan for the expansion of the "SmartStart" preschool program.