States State of the States

State of the States Coverage: Hawaii, Montana, South Carolina, Utah

February 03, 2015 3 min read
Gov. David Ige delivers his State of the State address in Honolulu, Hawaii., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.

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

HAWAII

Gov. David Y. Ige (D) • Jan. 26

In his first State of the State address, Gov. Ige hailed education as a mechanism for raising families out of poverty, and declared the need to transform the state’s school system through empowering school leaders. He said he will appoint members to Hawaii’s board of education who are aligned with that belief.

In his proposed budget, Gov. Ige has asked for an increase in funds distributed through the state education department’s Weighted Student Formula—a type of funding that principals control and decide how to spend. Currently, the budget for the Weighted Student Formula is $827 million. Mr. Ige wants to increase that amount by $2.4 million to cover enrollment increases, as well as by an additional $5 million above and beyond that. The formula distributes money based on student need instead of enrollment numbers.

“I challenge the leaders of public education to stop issuing mandates from the state office and to focus on empowering schools and delivering resources to the school level,” he said.

–Arianna Prothero

MONTANA

Gov. Steve Bullock (D) • Jan. 29

In his biennial address to lawmakers, Gov. Bullock spent a goodly amount of time calling on legislators to approve a $37 million block grant to school districts to set up voluntary preschool programs, or partner with existing ones.

“We know that children in high-quality early-childhood programs are more likely to read at grade level and more likely to earn a high school diploma,” the governor said. “The results are in, researchers and scientists across the country agree: This works.”

The proposal has so far not attracted interest from Republican lawmakers in the state, something that Gov. Bullock chided them for.

“If Republican governors around the country can understand the importance of high-quality preschool, I hope Republican legislators in Montana can, too,” he said.

For higher education, the governor recommended once again freezing tuition at the Montana University system.

–Stephen Sawchuk

SOUTH CAROLINA

Gov. Nikki Haley (R) • Jan. 21

As part of her call to “double down” on education investments—boosting overall education funding by $189 million, or 4.7 percent from fiscal 2014—Gov. Haley proposed in her address to lawmakers to help rural school districts recruit and keep good teachers.

Under the $1.5 million Teacher Quality and Recruitment Initiative, the state would pay four years of college tuition for any high school student graduating from an “underserved home district” who is willing to teach there or in another eligible rural district for at least two years.

For practicing teachers who commit to teach for five years in rural districts, the state would contribute $7,500 per year to repay their student loans for up to five years. Teachers with less than five years’ experience who agree to teach in rural schools at least five years would be advanced by five years on their salary schedule; a teacher with four years’ experience could move up to the salary of one with nine years, for example.

Teachers with five to eight years experience could receive up to two years of graduate school tuition, in exchange for two years of teaching in a rural district for each year in school. Teachers with more than eight years’ experience could also receive $5,000 per year for five years to act as mentors in rural districts.

“We need those great teachers going to our rural schools, touching our most at-risk students, and we need them staying there,” she said.

Gov. Haley’s executive budget would remove K-8 math, science, and social studies programs from the state’s lottery fund and support them separately, increasing the general education fund by $79 million. The budget would also expand the state’s education technology and reading initiatives, including a 2014 program to train reading coaches.

–Sarah D. Sparks

UTAH

Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) • Jan. 28

Citing the opportunities presented by a growing economy and rising revenue, Gov. Herbert called for $500 million in new funds for education and development of a 10-year plan to coordinate the investment of that money.

In his annual speech, the governor made a plea for reinforcing strong local control, saying that Utah residents should empower local school administrators and their boards to make their own decisions about how money should be spent. He also warned against “federal overreach” related to standards and curriculum, saying there needs to be a “more robust discussion in our schools” about the U.S. Constitution, free-market economic principles, and participation in democratic society.

“Rest assured, we will assert our rights to exercise local control over what we teach and how we teach it,” he said.

–Benjamin Herold

A version of this article appeared in the February 04, 2015 edition of Education Week as State of the States

Events

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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
School & District Management Webinar
Making Digital Literacy a Priority: An Administrator’s Perspective
Join us as we delve into the efforts of our panelists and their initiatives to make digital skills a “must have” for their district. We’ll discuss with district leadership how they have kept digital literacy
Content provided by Learning.com
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
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD

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 How to Talk About Next School Year Presents a Big Test for Education Leaders
State K-12 officials must clearly communicate plans for safety, academics, and mental health, while mixing urgency with nuance.
12 min read
Woman applying "Welcome Back" sign to the school entrance
Leo Patrizi/E+/Getty Images
States Two More States Pass Restrictions on Transgender Students. Will Others Follow?
States have considered dozens of bills on the rights of transgender students. They cover everything from sports to pronouns used in schools.
4 min read
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre, S.D., on March 11, 2021, to protest a proposed ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues.
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre to protest a proposed ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues.
Stephen Groves/AP
States Vaccine Access Speeds Up for Teachers After Biden's Declaration
The vaccine landscape for teachers shifted dramatically after President Joe Biden directed states to prioritize the K-12 workforce.
7 min read
030321 Vaccine Breaking AP BS
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is held by a pharmacist at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut on March.
Jessica Hill
States Opinion How Jeb Bush’s ExcelinEd Is Tackling the Next 5 Years
Rick Hess talks with ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque about the organization's goals to improve education after the pandemic and beyond.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty