States' Governors Know School Finances Are Important

in the governors’ 2013 State of the State addresses. Other education items that topped the list were Economic/Workforce Development and P-3 Preschool programs. Here are just a few examples.

Arkansas — Ensure that schools have adequate funding to continue the push toward excellence. A recent State Supreme Court ruling raises serious questions about the long-term path of Arkansas education policy, and it may require them to act legislatively in the short term.

California — Cut categorical programs and put maximum authority and discretion back at the local level — with school boards.

Georgia — Provide $156 million in additional funding for enrollment growth in K-12 schools in FY2013. Change the 1985 funding formula to modernize the way they spend taxpayer dollars so that they can produce more positive results in their public schools. Fully consider the Higher Education Funding Commission’s recommendation for change from enrollment-based funding to outcomes-based funding in their university and technical colleges.

Hawaii — Convene community meetings to solicit public input and feedback for the 21st Century Schools initiative — a public-private partnership that allows the Department of Education to lease underutilized lands for the purpose of generating income to be used to upgrade existing schools or construct new schools.

Indiana — Increase funding for full-day kindergarten. Increase in funding for schools each of the next two years, with the second year based on school performance. Increase funding to state-sponsored colleges and universities and tie funding and financial aid to on-time completion.

Maryland — Invest to improve public education. Increase funding for community colleges. Invest in technology and security upgrades in schools.

Massachusetts — Fund K-12 education higher than last year. Place a greater reliance on the income tax and less reliance on the sales tax. Raise their investment in public colleges and universities. Ensure that every child in Massachusetts has access to high quality early education.

Missouri — Increase funding for education by $150 million. Increase investment in first-rate, 21st Century facilities. Double the funding for preschools. Provide funds for cutting-edge university research facilities.

Montana — Enact the J.O.B.S. Bill, which stands for Jobs and Opportunity by Building Schools — take advantage of historically low interest rates and immediately create thousands by making investments in educational facilities.

Nevada — Overall, make a new investment of $135 million in Nevada’s schoolchildren.

Tennessee — Invest $16.5 million in equipment and technology related to workforce development programs at technology centers and community colleges. Invest nearly $62 million to renovate a four-building complex that will house research labs and administrative offices at The University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis.

Utah — Fully invest in the growing schools.

Virginia — Target an additional $31 million for public colleges and universities to continue to add more slots for in-state students, and bring tuition rate increases down.

>> Source: Education Commission of the States. 2013 State of the State Addresses.

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of School Planning & Management.

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