Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of governors' budget requests for schools and highlights of proposals on the state education agendas. Budget totals for K-12 education include money for state education administration, but do not include federal flow-through dollars.


Mike Foster (R)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$5.73 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$2.16 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$2.10 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+2.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • K-12 budget represents funding for state's minimum-foundation program for elementary and secondary public schools. Governor's plan includes $61.5 million in increased expenditures in fiscal 1999 for the foundation program.
  • Budget recommends continued funding, to be allocated on per-pupil basis, of $20 million to support K-3 reading and math initiative.
  • Mr. Foster calling for legislators to increase length of school day, to six-hour minimum.
  • Governor also proposing $13.5 million in new state funds for Tuition Opportunity Program for Students. When added to $17.3 million previously appropriated, money would provide tuition assistance to 11,790 students attending state's public and private colleges.
  • Mr. Foster recommending $1.45 million in state aid be allocated to cover per-pupil funding for any charter schools that receive approval from state board of education for upcoming 1998-99 school year.


Mel Carnahan (D)

FY 1999 proposed state budget:
$11.11 billion

FY 1999 proposed K-12 budget:
$3.16 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$3.10 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+1.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • Governor's budget includes $56.6 million proposal to make early-childhood care better and more widely available. Program would pay for health screenings for children in their first three years.
  • Proposal also includes $4.9 million to create Bridge Scholarship program. Program would give $1,500 a year for two years to college students who don't qualify for certain federal financial-aid programs.
  • Lawmakers are debating bill that would redirect $155 million in state money once applied to desegregation programs in St. Louis and Kansas City into revised general school funding formula.


Jeanne Shaheen (D)

FY 1999 state budget:
$966.5 million

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$203.2 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$203.5 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
-.0001 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • This is second year of two-year budget. Education spending increased 25 percent above previous biennial budget. During last year's session, legislators increased funding for kindergarten from $500 to $750 per child. State is also funding 75 percent of construction costs for districts that need to improve or expand facilities for kindergarten or don't currently offer kindergarten because of lack of space.
  • Legislature is in midst of responding to state supreme court decision that deemed school finance system unconstitutional.
  • Gov. Shaheen has proposed funding plan that would establish minimum cost for adequate education at elementary, middle, and high schools. Statewide property-tax rate would be set, but districts that could raise enough money with lower tax rate would be able to do so. Poor districts would get state aid to make up difference.

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