States State of the States

State of the States 2011: Maine, Minnesota, Texas

March 29, 2011 2 min read
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, center, stands with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst after an address in which he told state lawmakers that there are “no sacred cows” in the Texas budget. The Republican governor has recommended a 10 percent decrease in state spending on K-12 education in fiscal 2012 and is urging school districts to look for creative ways to save money. He also supports legislation to reduce the dropout rate and expand the state’s Virtual School Network.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For complete coverage of this year’s governors’ speeches, check out State of the States 2011.

MAINE

Gov. Paul R. LePage (R) • Feb. 10

In contrast to other GOP governors who have sought cuts to education, Gov. LePage in his budget address proposed a $6.1 billion, biennial 2012-13 budget for Maine that would return state support for schools to prerecession spending levels by fiscal 2013, but would cut pension benefits to retired teachers and other public workers.

The governor would increase state aid to local school districts in the next two years by $63 million, to $914 million, matching fiscal 2007 levels. “And it will not be enough,” said Mr. LePage, who was elected in November. “Education funding is never enough because too many resources are diverted before they reach the classroom. We are working on reforms that make the student the most important person in the classroom.”

The budget would provide flat funding for higher education, but the governor called on the legislature to create Maine Higher Education Savings Bonds to help families save more for college on their own.

The budget would pay for the education spending in part by freezing state pensions for three years, raising the retirement age for new workers to 65 from 62, and increasing their retirement contributions by 2 percentage points of salary. —Sarah D. Sparks

MINNESOTA

Gov. Mark Dayton (D) • Feb. 9

State of the States

BRIC ARCHIVE

Education is feeling the pinch as state budgets tighten nationwide. Read what the governors plan for education funding and reform in 2011 in our State of the State and budget address roundups. Read more.

Despite budget constraints in his state, Gov. Dayton in his first State of the State address asked the legislature to increase funding for K-12 education. He said his goal is to increase such funding every year that he’s governor, “with no excuses and no exceptions.”

The governor proposed that K-12 funding be $14.4 billion out of a budget of $37.1 billion for the 2012-13 biennium, up from $14.3 in K-12 funding for the current biennium.

Gov. Dayton proposed raising education funding particularly to increase the number of children who receive all-day kindergarten, noting that states such as Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi pay for such services. He also re-established the governor’s council on early-childhood education and the children’s cabinet, which are headed by the state’s education commissioner. —Mary Ann Zehr

TEXAS

Gov. Rick Perry (R) • Feb. 8

In his State of the State address,Gov. Perry stressed the need for cuts in K-12 school budgets rather than increased spending, arguing that voters had sent a message in the November elections that “they want government to be even leaner and more efficient.” The governor recommended that the state spend $14.2 billion on K-12 education in fiscal 2012, out of a budget of $22 billion, a decrease of 10 percent from the current fiscal year. Texas approves a budget every two years. The governor proposed an even smaller K-12 budget for fiscal 2013 of $13.9 billion, out of a state budget of $21.9 billion.

Mr. Perry said he is looking for the legislature to approve bills that reduce the dropout rate and suggested the states Virtual School Network be expanded with the addition of an online high school, which could help students who have dropped out of school to recover credits. To save money, he urged school districts to enter into shared service arrangements with other institutions in their region. —Mary Ann Zehr

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 30, 2011 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
Teaching Profession Webinar
How Does Educator Well-Being Impact Social-Emotional Awareness in Schools?
Explore how adult well-being is key to promoting healthy social-emotional behaviors for students. Get strategies to reduce teacher stress.
Content provided by International Baccalaureate
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
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.

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 Alabama's New Transgender Care Felony Faces Federal Test
An Alabama law is the first to put criminal penalties on the doctors who provide gender-affirming treatments to transgender minors.
3 min read
Conceptual picture of transgender flag overlaying shadows and silhouettes of anonymous people on a road.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
States Texas Governor Sparks Backlash With Talk of Rolling Back Free School for Immigrant Kids
Critics assailed Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's idea as “hare-brained” and “cruel.”
Robert T. Garrett, The Dallas Morning News
5 min read
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Eric Gay/AP
States How Laws on Race, Sexuality Could Clash With Culturally Responsive Teaching
Critical race theory and culturally responsive teaching are not the same thing. But bans of one could impact the other.
7 min read
Illustration of diverse hands being raised.
iStock/Getty
States Beyond 'Don't Say Gay': Other States Seek to Limit LGBTQ Youth, Teaching
Legislators want to ban lessons on LGBTQ communities and require teachers to tell parents when students want their pronouns changed.
9 min read
Kara Klever holds a sign in protest in the hall outside of the Blue Room as Governor Kevin Stitt signs a bill into law that prevents transgender girls and women from competing on female sports teams at the Capitol Wednesday, March 30, 2022 in Oklahoma City, Oka. The bill, which easily passed the Republican-led House and Senate mostly along party lines, took effect immediately with the governor's signature. It applies to female sports teams in both high school and college.
Kara Klever holds a sign in protest as Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs a bill into law that prevents transgender girls and women from competing on female sports teams.
Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman via AP