States State of the States

State of the States Coverage: California, Connecticut, Kentucky, North Dakota

January 13, 2015 3 min read
California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, center right, are greeted by lawmakers before his inauguration at the state Capitol in Sacramento.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Here are summaries of recent annual addresses by governors around the country.

CALIFORNIA

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) • Jan. 5

In his inaugural address and annual report to the state legislature, Gov. Brown lauded the state’s recent changes to how, and by how much, schools are funded and highlighted the need to recruit and train “tens of thousands” of teachers.

Gov. Brown said that the state’s Local Control Funding Formula, which he signed into law in 2013, has helped foster “a much fairer system of school funding” that also gives districts more power over how they spend money on needy students, such as those from low-income families. While stressing the importance of the teaching profession, he also cautioned against overaggressive policy regarding teachers’ classroom work.

“Teachers need to be held accountable but never forget: They have a tough job to do. They need our encouragement, not endless regulations and micromanagement from afar,” the governor told lawmakers.

–Andrew Ujifusa

CONNECTICUT

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) • Jan. 7

The governor alluded only briefly to education in his transportation-focused state address, saying that over the past four years, his administration has “built better schools, raised test scores, made college more affordable, and put Connecticut on a path toward universal prekindergarten.”

But Connecticut has received some good news recently on the education front. Last month, the federal government awarded the state $12.5 million to expand its preschool program. Seventeen other states also received money through the Preschool Development Grant program. The federal early-education money is in addition to an $105 million state-funded initiative approved in April 2014 that will pay for public schools to renovate classrooms to serve 3- and 4-year-olds.

–Christina Samuels

KENTUCKY

Gov. Steve Beshear (D) • Jan. 7

In his final address to the state legislature, outgoing Gov. Beshear—who is term-limited and will leave office after the election later this year—highlighted the strides Kentucky is making in increasing student achievement and laid out a framework for how the state can continue on its upward trajectory.

Noting that Kentucky was the first state to adopt the Common Core State Standards, Gov. Beshear cited an annual study that found that 62 percent of the state’s 12th graders graduated college- and career-ready in 2014, up from 38 percent in 2011.

He also underscored the importance of his administration’s efforts to provide better health care and preschool opportunities for children in low-income families, giving a shout-out to the state’s new screening system that gauges whether early-education programs are properly preparing children for kindergarten.

Gov. Beshear called on lawmakers to support an early-childhood educator measure, known as ALL-STARS, that he pushed last year that would increase monitoring of programs and provide teachers with continuing education and information regarding nutrition and age-appropriate curriculum for students. He also urged the legislature to move quickly to pass legislation that is designed to help students earn degrees more quickly and at less cost, a recommendation of a state higher education task force.

–Lauren Camera

NORTH DAKOTA

Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) • Jan. 6

The governor gave passing mention to education in his annual address to state lawmakers, citing the state’s fast-growing K-12 population and the need for more school construction. He recommended adding $300 million to the state’s school construction revolving-loan program to accommodate the growth. Since 2010, North Dakota has added 10,500 students, and 22 districts have used the loan program to build, expand, or improve facilities.

Gov. Dalrymple cited a 2014 Gallup poll of residents in each of the 50 states, which found that North Dakotans had the highest rating on satisfaction with their education system. He also called for strategic investments in higher education, with a focus on making college more affordable in a state that has seen an economic boom in the past decade thanks to the oil and gas industry.

–Michele Molnar

A version of this article appeared in the January 14, 2015 edition of Education Week as State of the States

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States Educators Weigh K-12 Impact From an Unpredictable Election
Many of the most contentious issues in the 2022 midterms resonate most at the local level.
6 min read
"I Voted" stickers sit in a pile at the Fairview Recreation Center in North Minneapolis.
"I Voted" stickers sit in a pile at the Fairview Recreation Center in North Minneapolis during the midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Tim Evans/Minnesota Public Radio via AP
States K-12 and the Midterms: What to Watch For
Educators sound off on what the hard-fought midterm elections could mean for K-12 policy.
6 min read
Aidan Lau-Struck, 6, helps his mom Stephanie Lau feed her ballot into the machine at the Brighton Green Community Association voting precinct in North Chesterfield, Va., on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Aidan Lau-Struck, 6, helps his mother, Stephanie Lau, feed her ballot into the machine at the Brighton Green Community Association voting precinct in North Chesterfield, Va., on Election Day.
Eva Russo/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
States K-12 Insider or Conservative Advocate? Stark Choice in One State Superintendent's Race
A think tank CEO and a high school English teacher battle it out for South Carolina's top K-12 job.
8 min read
Ellen Weaver, the Republican nominee for South Carolina superintendent of education, speaks at U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's Faith & Freedom BBQ ahead of the keynote speaker, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, in Anderson, S.C.
Ellen Weaver, the Republican nominee for South Carolina superintendent of education, speaks at U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's Faith & Freedom BBQ in Anderson, S.C.
Meg Kinnard/AP
States School-Related Ballot Measures to Watch This Midterm Election
Voters in six states will decide on issues ranging from more funding for free school meals and the arts to reining in the state board.
7 min read
Image of ballots going into a box.
iStock/Getty