Legislative Update

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The following is a summary of fiscal 2001 state budgets for schools and highlights of final education-related action in legislatures. The figures for the state budget and for precollegiate education spending include money for state education administration, but not federal, flow-through dollars. Percentage increases are based on rounded numbers, and estimated enrollment reflects the state's projected public school enrollment for 2000-01, unless otherwise noted. Depending on the state, figures may or may not include prekindergarten spending and enrollment.

Governor: George H. Ryan (R)

FY 2001 state budget: $44.9 billion

FY 2001 pre-K-12 budget: $6.45 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $6.02 billion

Percent change pre-K-12budget: +7.1 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 1.4 million


  • Budget increases state's per-pupil contribution by $100, from $4,325 to $4,425.

Gov. George H. Ryan

  • Governor's approved spending plan increases to $18 million—from $8 million in fiscal 2000—the budget for state program that provides summer school and after-school instruction for students working to improve their reading skills.
  • Budget also includes 6 percent increase for state's early-childhood-education program, bringing program's total budget to $180.2 million.

New Hampshire

Governor: Jeanne Shaheen (D)

FY 2001 state budget: $1.9 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $887 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $883 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +0.4 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 207,000


  • Increase in state education funding for coming fiscal year— second year of biennial budget—largely reflects enrollment growth.

Gov. Jeanne Shaheen

  • Legislature put off discussion of state's long-running school finance problems until after Dec. 1, when commission appointed by governor is scheduled to make recommendations for new funding formula.
  • House and Senate failed to agree on measure requiring districts to draw up plans for school improvement and accountability. Lawmakers did, however, pass bills requiring schools to come up with anti-bullying policies and to report bullying incidents when they occur. Legislature also set aside $100,000 to expand alternative kindergarten programs for some disadvantaged children.

Governor: Bob Taft (R)

FY 2001 state budget: $34.4 billion

FY 2001 pre-K-12 budget: $7.05 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $6.69 billion

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: +5.4 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 1.9 million


  • Second half of biennial budget approved in 1999 fully funds OhioReads for second year at $30 million. Launched by governor last year, initiative provides grants to schools and community groups that wish to improve or expand reading programs, and calls for 20,000 volunteer reading tutors.

Gov. Bob Taft

  • Budget includes 7.4 percent increase in state's share of per-pupil spending, from $2,611 in fiscal 2000 to $2,805 in fiscal 2001.
  • Following state supreme court decision that state has not done enough to meet its constitutional duty to operate "thorough and efficient" educational system, lawmakers may consider further increasing school spending for fiscal 2001 in coming months. In its May ruling, court gave lawmakers one year to approve remedy.


Governor: John Kitzhaber (D)

FY 2001 state budget: $5.53 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $2.44 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $2.35 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +3.8 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 575,000


  • Oregon is in second year of biennial budget, and legislature is not in session until January. This spring, legislature's interim budget panel allocated additional $9.7 million to school districts for current school year, and $12.1 million for next school year, from state's emergency fund because property-tax collections are running about 1.4 percent below estimates.

Gov. John Kitzhaber

  • Schools will get additional $25 million in fiscal 2001 as result of law that deregulates profit margin of US West telecommunications company in exchange for its paying for equipment in schools and rural areas. Schools can use the money for phone or computer service, as well as related equipment.
  • Governor is pursuing ballot measure in November that would obligate legislature to adequately finance education to meet state goals, or issue report on causes and consequences of that underfunding. Measure would also provide some tax relief for property-poor districts, making it easier to pass "local option" property-tax increases. Portland and handful of other districts passed such measures this spring, which require 50 percent voter turnout and majority vote.


Governor: Tom Ridge (R)

FY 2001 state budget: $40.2 billion

FY 2001 K-12 budget: $6.13 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $5.85 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +4.8 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 1.8 million


  • Formula-driven operating aid to school districts will increase by $114 million, or 3 percent, under budget for fiscal 2001.

Gov. Tom Ridge

  • As part of newly passed Education Empowerment Act, state's lowest-performing school districts will share $25 million for efforts to raise student achievement, such as administrative changes, new programs, and contracted services. Law allows state to take over those districts if they fail to raise student achievement.
  • Budget doubles, to $33.5 million, funding for cash awards to schools that improve student test scores and attendance.
  • Special education spending will rise to $783 million, up by $63.5 million, or 8.8 percent. Lowest-income districts will get increases of up to 29 percent under new formula that distributes special education aid based on district wealth.

Vol. 19, Issue 40, Page 15

Published in Print: June 14, 2000, as Legislative Update
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