Published Online: May 21, 1997


Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on state education budgets and other education-related matters.


Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)

FY 1998 state budget:
$3.1 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$710.16 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$696 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+2.0 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • Deep cuts proposed by Senate, which would have eliminated hundreds of positions in education department and cut some academic programs and services, were reduced in final budget.
  • Fiscal 1998 budget is some $9 million less than state education officials say they need to meet needs of student population, which is growing by more than 2,500 students each year. Two-year budget includes almost $709 million in 1999.
  • K-2 class sizes will be increased by one student, to 21 students per class, for $3 million savings in coming school year. After-school remedial program will be eliminated for a savings of $1.9 million. Part-time school janitorial services will also be discontinued, saving additional $2.3 million. Three vacant district deputy superintendent positions will be eliminated.


Bill Graves (R)

FY 1998 state budget:
$8 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$1.93 billion

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$1.71 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+13 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • Budget provides $104.5 million in state aid for schools under plan to lower statewide property tax from 33 mills to 27 mills. New provision also exempts first $20,000 of assessed value on residences from property taxes.
  • Base state aid per pupil will be increased from $3,648 to $3,670, and at-risk students will qualify for slightly more state per-pupil funding.
  • Lawmakers gave districts that spend below state average on their pupils greater leeway to pass supplemental, or local-option, budgets, which are used for general operating expenses and capped at 25 percent of a district's per-pupil spending base.


Marc Racicot (R)

FY 1998-FY 1999 biennial state budget:
$2.05 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$476.1 million

FY 1997 K-12 budget:
$460.9 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.3 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • Legislature, which convenes every two years, was in session this year.
  • Fiscal 1998-1999 budget includes $12.5 million one-time appropriation for direct aid to schools for textbooks, technology, libraries, and school maintenance.
  • Budget also includes $13.9 million increase in basic state entitlement for schools. Funding is split evenly between both years of biennium, for 1 percent increase each year.
  • Budget allocates $1.5 million increase for bond-reimbursement program for facility construction in low-wealth districts and $350,000 appropriation to the state office of public instruction for development of statewide performance standards. In addition, appropriation will pay for development of a statewide reporting tool for school data.

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