States

Legislative Update

March 21, 2001 4 min read

The following is a summary of governors’ education proposals for fiscal 2002. 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 2001-02, unless otherwise noted. Depending on the state, figures may or may not include prekindergarten spending and enrollment.

Florida | New Hampshire | North Carolina | Rhode Island | Wisconsin

FLORIDA

Governor: Jeb Bush (R)
Proposed FY 2002 state budget:
$ 51.2 billion
Proposed FY 2002 K-12 budget:
$7.80 billion
FY 2001 K-12 budget:
$7.79 billion
Proposed percent change K-12 budget:
+0.1 percent
Estimated K-12 enrollment:
2.4 million

Highlights:

Gov. Jeb Bush

  • Governor’s K-12 budget proposal does not include approximately $175 million in expected savings from Florida Retirement System that are slated to be passed on to school districts.
  • Proposed budget includes a new $50 million fund devoted to teacher recruitment and retention that would provide $1,000 signing bonuses for first- time teachers. Bonuses could be matched by contributions from local districts to potentially increase their value.
  • Mr. Bush’s budget also includes $11 million in new funding for professional-development program designed to give teachers effective strategies for reading instruction; that money would provide training for 10,000 teachers in grades K-3.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Governor: Jeanne Shaheen (D)
Proposed FY 2002 state budget:
$2.9 billion
Proposed FY 2001 K-12 budget:
$950 million
FY 2002 K-12 budget:
$901 million
Proposed percent change K-12 budget:
+5.4 percent
Estimated K-12 enrollment:
208,000

Highlights:

  • Proposed K-12 budget figures are for first year of governor’s biennial budget. Increase does not account for an $18 million education trust, previously included in state education department funds, that is now set aside elsewhere in budget.

  • Governor has separately proposed a new school funding system to solve state’s long-running school finance problems. That plan also would set performance standards for schools, hold schools accountable for meeting those new goals, and provide money for schools having trouble.

  • Ms. Shaheen also wants $6 million over two years to strengthen literacy instruction in kindergarten through 3rd grade and additional money to expand health insurance for low-income children to every eligible child through a public-private matching-grant program.

  • State university system would get 5 percent increase under proposed budget, which would also set aside $1 million in scholarships for high- performing high school graduates to attend in-state colleges and universities.


NORTH CAROLINA

Governor: Michael F. Easley (D)
Proposed FY 2002 state budget:
$26.3 billion
Proposed FY 2002 K-12 budget:
$6.7 billion
FY 2001 K-12 budget:
$6.5 billion
Proposed percent change K-12 budget:
+3.1 percent
Estimated K-12 enrollment:
1.3 million

Highlights:

Gov. Michael F. Easley

  • In his first biennial budget proposal, Gov. Easley has proposed $72 million to pay for 2 percent salary increase for teachers.
  • Making good on his campaign promise, Mr. Easley has proposed setting aside $49.6 million to lower class sizes in elementary schools.
  • Nearly $5 million would go toward recruiting teachers to help curb state’s growing teacher shortage.

RHODE ISLAND

Governor: Lincoln Almond (R)
Proposed FY 2002 state budget:
$2.6 billion
Proposed FY 2002 K-12 budget: $706 million
FY 2001 K-12 budget:
$664 million
Proposed percent change K-12 budget:
+6.3 percent
Estimated K-12 enrollment:
159,000

Highlights:

Gov. Lincoln Almond

  • To help address state’s long-standing equity debate, governor proposes new way to give aid to local districts. For fiscal 2002, new formula would guarantee each district at least what it received for fiscal 2001, then distribute another $26.3 million across state based on districts’ enrollment, concentration of poverty, and local tax burden.

  • Overall 5.6 percent increase in total aid to local districts in governor’s plan still falls short of 7.5 percent total increase recommended last fall by task force Mr. Almond appointed to study equity issue.

  • Governor recommends increase, from $2.4 million to $3.1 million, in state aid available to help districts add all-day kindergarten programs.


WISCONSIN

Governor: Scott McCallum (R)
Proposed FY 2002 state budget:
$17.62 billion
Proposed FY 2002 K-12 budget:
$7.66 billion
FY 2001 K-12 budget:
$ 7.40 billion
Proposed percent change K-12 budget:
+3.5 percent
Estimated K-12 enrollment:
880,000

Highlights:

  • Governor’s proposal reflects first year of biennial budget that calls for modifying per-pupil spending formula for special education students to shift more of cost of educating such students from school districts to state. Under plan, state special education spending would rise from $319 million to $329 million in coming fiscal year.
  • Gov. McCallum also recommends expanding a class-size-reduction program in high-poverty schools to include more grades; funding would rise from $58 million in fiscal 2001 to $65 million in fiscal 2002.
  • Governor proposes increasing spending for testing development and administration, from $6 million to $11 million, in coming fiscal year.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 21, 2001 edition of Education Week as Legislative Update

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