States

Legislative Update

March 29, 2000 3 min read

The following is a summary of governors’ education proposals for fiscal 2001. 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.

Florida | Massachusetts | Nebraska | Pennsylvania

FLORIDA

Governor: Jeb Bush (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $36.66 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget: $9.44 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $9.15 billion

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: +3.2 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 2.4 million

Highlights:

  • Governor’s proposal would double—to $60 million—rewards program that gives up to $100 per student in bonuses to schools that earn an A or improve a letter grade, under state accountability program that assigns schools grades based on their performance on state tests.
  • Budget provides $560 million, an increase of 7.4 percent over fiscal 2000, for fund that allows qualifying schools to opt for longer school year, class-size reduction, or mentoring and tutoring programs in efforts to improve student achievement.

MASSACHUSETTS

Governor: Paul Cellucci (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $21.3 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget: $3.80 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $3.66 billion

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: +3.8 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 989,000

Highlights:

  • Gov. Cellucci wants $11.6 million for new program to lower class sizes in kindergarten through 3rd grade in 46 districts where family incomes are low.
  • Budget includes $54 million for construction of 46 new schools, expanding an existing program that would be revamped and shifted from education department to state’s executive administration and finance department.
  • Budget proposes creation of new office of educational quality and accountability for monitoring schools’ progress toward meeting state standards. Also allots $20 million for basic- skills tutoring to prepare students for high school exit exams that will apply to next year’s 10th graders.

NEBRASKA

Governor: Mike Johanns (R)

Proposed FY 2001 state budget: $2.41 billion

Proposed FY 2001 K- 12 budget: $765 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $760 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +0.7 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 285,000

Highlights:

  • Governor wants to hold basic state aid to districts steady through 2001-02, even though enrollment is expected to continue dropping.
  • Mr. Johanns proposes an additional $1 million for school-to-career programs and backs a legislator’s bill to provide about $500,000 in grants for student-mentoring program called TeamMates, founded by former University of Nebraska head football coach Tom Osborne.

PENNSYLVANIA

Governor: Tom Ridge (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $40.17 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget: $6.08 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $5.83 billion

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: + 4.3 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 1.8 million

Highlights:

  • Funding for formula-driven state aid to school districts would increase by $110 million, or by 3 percent, under Gov. Ridge’s proposed budget.
  • Budget includes an increase of $46.9 million, or 6.5 percent, for special education.
  • Funding for rewards to schools that significantly improve their academic achievement and effort would double, to $33.5 million.
  • Read to Succeed, a four-year, $100 million initiative designed to raise reading skills in grades K-3, would receive $25 million.
  • $20 million would go toward school improvement grants for low-performing districts to make administrative changes, contract out for services, create charter schools, or make other changes intended to raise student performance. Grants could not be used to provide private school vouchers.
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A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2000 edition of Education Week as Legislative Update

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