Education Funding

Legislative Update

March 22, 2000 6 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 changes 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.

Louisiana | Maine | Mississippi | New Jersey | South Carolina |
South Dakota | Tennessee | Vermont | Washington

LOUISIANA

Governor: Mike Foster (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $9.7 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $2.69 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $2.45 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +9.8 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 733,000

Highlights:

  • Proposed budget seeks $220 million to help bring teacher salaries in Louisiana up to the Southern regional average.
  • As state’s new accountability system begins to kick in, governor is requesting a large increase to help schools and students meet greater demands, including $30 million for remediation, summer school, and early intervention, up from $7.4 million this year. Another $1.7 million would be used to send “distinguished educators” into some of Louisiana’s lowest-performing schools, up from $1.2 million this year.
  • Governor is seeking $19.5 million for state’s K-3 reading and mathematics initiative, down slightly from the $20 million provided this year.


MAINE

Governor: Angus King (I)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $2.58 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget: $941.5 million

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget: $848.3 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +11 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 214,000

Highlights:

  • Gov. King’s proposal would add $90 million in education spending to fiscal 2001 budget approved last year as second half of biennial budget. Plan would provide $50 million for a $65 million school technology endowment fund—with balance coming from private sources—to pay full cost of laptop computers for all students 7th grade and up, as well as half the cost of new laptops for all teachers every four years.
  • Proposed supplemental appropriations also would add $14.5 million to general aid for schools, increasing that total by 5 percent above fiscal 2000. Of that amount, $2 million would go to schools that otherwise would lose money under Maine’s new school funding formula.
  • Governor also wants to spend $120,000 to start a campaign to recruit teachers from out of state.

MISSISSIPPI

Governor: Ronnie Musgrove (D)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $6.58 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $1.69 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $1.59 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +6.3 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 557,000

Highlights:

  • Gov. Musgrove, elected in January, is proposing to raise Mississippi teachers’ salaries to the Southeastern average, which was $37,065 in 1998-99, compared with $30,743 in Mississippi that year. Raises estimated to cost $200 million over four years.
  • With tight state finances, governor seeking private financing to help put a computer in every K-12 classroom.With tight state finances, governor seeking private financing to help put a computer in every K-12 classroom.

NEW JERSEY

Governor: Christine Todd Whitman (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $21.25 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget:$6.69 billion

FY 2000 pre-K-12 budget:$6.10 billion

Percent change pre-K-12 budget: +9.7 percent

Estimated pre-K-12 enrollment: 1.3 million

Highlights:

  • Formula-driven state aid to K-12 schools would climb by 8 percent, to $5.64 billion, under proposed fiscal 2001 budget.
  • Governor proposes to combine $100 million in revenue from state’s share of tobacco settlement with lottery and cigarette-tax receipts to begin a $10 billion school construction and modernization program.
  • Proposed budget includes $4.7 million for a new character education program as well as $8.7 million for a new teacher-mentoring effort.
  • Governor would begin a four-year effort to revamp how state provides services to troubled teenagers. Funding would begin at $206 million in fiscal 2001 and increase to $280 million a year in four years.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Governor: Jim Hodges (D)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $5.92 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $ 2.39 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $2.23 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +7.2 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 643,000

Highlights:

  • Governor proposes spending $24 million, up from $14 million in fiscal 2000, to provide summer school remediation courses and professional development for teachers on incorporating state standards into curriculum and helping underachieving students.
  • Mr. Hodges asks lawmakers to allocate $30 million for a year-old school readiness program that finances health and education services for preschoolers, up from $10 million this year.
  • Governor wants to mandate character education statewide—now provided in about half the state’s districts with federal money—and provide $500,000 in state money to pay for it.
  • He also proposes $7.5 million to provide an additional 200 guidance counselors, nurses, and psychologists in middle schools statewide.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Governor: William J. Janklow (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $1.4 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $302.25 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $289.93 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +4.2 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 134,000

Highlights:

  • Proposed budget includes $4.6 million for a continuing program to connect schools to the Internet and install distance-learning equipment in schools.
  • Governor proposes increasing special education funding by $622,000, to $37.2 million, a 1.7 percent increase.
  • Budget calls for $500,000 to set up a new office within education department to oversee technology efforts in state’s schools.

TENNESSEE

Governor: Don Sunquist (R)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $11.8 billion

FY 2001 proposed K-12 budget: $2.66 billion

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $2.52 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +5.5 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 909,000

Highlights:

  • Budget contains $99 million in new funding for K-12 education, $27 million of that for state’s general operating aid for K-12 education.
  • Governor proposes $12 million to expand preschool programs for at-risk students. Two-year program would grow from current 600 preschoolers to 2,400 under plan.

VERMONT

Governor: Howard Dean (D)

FY 2001 proposed state budget: $2.03 billion

FY 2001 proposed pre-K-12 budget: $896.18 million

FY 2000 K-12 budget: $833.66 million

Percent change K-12 budget: +7.5 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 104,000

Highlights:

  • Governor’s proposed budget reflects state’s estimates of revenue from statewide property tax imposed under a sweeping school finance law, Act 60, enacted in 1997. Most initiatives focus on maintaining financing and assessment programs created by the law.
  • Governor proposes spending $2.5 million, up from $2.4 million, to continue to develop new student assessments. Another $955,000 would pay for technical assistance to the 39 schools that failed last year’s assessments.
  • Mr. Dean wants to provide $1.2 million in state funding to help districts defray costs of special education.

WASHINGTON

Governor: Gary Locke (D)

FY 2001 proposedstate budget: $10.4 billion

FY 2001 proposedK-12 budget: $4.91 billion

FY 2000K-12 budget: $4.64 billion

Percent change K-12 budget: +5.8 percent

Estimated K-12 enrollment: 1 million

Highlights:

  • In second year of $20.9 billion biennial budget, governor proposes in a supplemental budget to spend an additional $84.8 million on K-12 schools.
  • Mr. Locke recommends $51.1 million to hire up to 1,000 new teachers to lower class sizes in elementary schools, as well as $9.2 million for new programs to improve teacher quality, including forgivable loans for prospective teachers, new tests of beginning teachers, and resources for professional development.
  • He requests $5.2 million to tighten security at 29 selected school districts.He requests $5.2 million to tighten security at 29 selected school districts.

A version of this article appeared in the March 22, 2000 edition of Education Week as Legislative Update

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