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State of the States 2010: Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma

February 09, 2010 2 min read
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For complete coverage of this year’s governors’ speeches, check out State of the States 2010.

CONNECTICTUT

Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) | Feb. 3

Gov. Rell, delivering her final State of the State address, proposed a Keno gambling system to help the state shore up gaps in the $18.9 billion budget for the fiscal year that has started, but otherwise plans no changes to the budget from the previous year.

The governor, who is not seeking re-election, also proposed granting up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness to college students who stay and work in Connecticut for five years after graduating as a way to stop the state’s “brain drain.”

She named the opening of new charter and magnet schools as among her accomplishments as governor. —Dakarai I. Aarons

MARYLAND

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) | Feb. 2

Members of the General Assembly applaud Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, as he enters the chamber to deliver his State of the State address in Annapolis.

Maryland’s governor made jobs creation the focus of his State of the State address, but also highlighted the role education can play in revitalizing the state’s economy. Gov. O’Malley said it is important for Maryland to “reinvigorate” science, technology, engineering, and math, or stem, education. Students must also receive a firm grounding in environmental and financial literacy, he said.

The governor, who is up for re-election this year, also made a plea for support for his “Skills2Compete” initiative, which is designed to bolster access to training and apprenticeship programs and to higher education. —Catherine Gewertz

MICHIGAN

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (D) | Feb. 3

Education received more than a few mentions in the eighth and final State of the State address for Gov. Granholm, who is term-limited and will leave office after this year. She asked the legislature to spare education from any further budget reductions and to restore the state’s Promise Scholarships, which were cut last year.

“I will also draw the line against additional education cuts in the year ahead,” she said.

“Is there a single family in Michigan that would choose to make ends meet in hard times by first sacrificing the needs of the children?”

The governor did not present any numbers last week, but said she would present her budget this week, as Michigan law requires. —Dakarai Aarons

OKLAHOMA

Gov. Brad Henry (D) | Feb. 1

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry points to his wife in the Oklahoma House chamber, the site of his annual address to a joint session of the Oklahoma legislature.

In his final State of the State address, Gov. Henry expressed pride in the progress made in education during his two terms as governor.

Despite a $1.3 billion state budget shortfall, the governor vowed to protect funding for education in the current budget year. In fact, teacher salaries actually increased this school year, and the state began covering the full cost of teachers’ health insurance, he told state lawmakers.

In addition, Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program was preserved in the current budget year, and the state has enacted full-day kindergarten as well as a voluntary pre-K program for its youngest learners.

Gov. Henry also recognized the Achieving Classroom Excellence initiative, designed to raise academic standards and accountability. The state has applied for a Race to the Top grant under the federal economic-stimulus program, which, if granted, may go toward implementing performance-based teacher pay or building a comprehensive data system, he said. —Katie Ash

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A version of this article appeared in the February 10, 2010 edition of Education Week as State of the States

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