Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final 1999 budgets for schools and highlights of education-related action during legislative sessions. Budget totals for K-12 education include money for state education administration, but do not include federal, flow-through dollars.


Tom Ridge (R)

FY 1999 state budget:
$17.99 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$5.60 billion

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$5.35 billion

Percent change K-12 budget:
+3.7 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • Basic state education subsidies will increase by 3.5 percent, or $121 million, to $3.57 billion in fiscal 1999. While 23 percent of subsidies will go to the state's 125 poorest districts, the wealthiest districts will get 13 percent of that revenue.
  • Special education funding will increase by more than $45.9 million, or 7.3 percent, to $677.6 million.
  • Budget provides third installment of more than $43.3 million for statewide Link-to-Learn educational technology network and will provide $5 million to help private schools hook up to system.
  • Budget includes $13.4 million to reward high-achieving districts, up $3 million from fiscal 1998. It allots first-time funding of $3 million for teacher training to support state's new academic standards, including creation of academy for urban teachers.


Angus King (I)

FY 1999 state budget:
$2.17 billion

FY 1999 K-12 budget:
$591.5 million

FY 1998 K-12 budget:
$558.3 million

Percent change K-12 budget:
+5.9 percent

Estimated enrollment:


  • In a supplemental spending bill, legislature added $16 million to fiscal 1999 education budget approved last year as second half of biennial budget for a total increase of $33.2 million, the largest single-year increase in school spending in eight years.
  • Lawmakers put $20 million into fund for no-interest loans to districts for construction projects. Legislature also approved two $35 million statewide bond initiatives to pay for school construction.
  • Budget includes $9 million for scholarships for low-income students, $4 million increase from fiscal 1998.

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