Education Week - January 28, 2015 - (Page 20)
STATE of the STATES www.edweek.org/go/sos
Here are summaries of recent
annual addresses by governors
around the country.
GOV. BILL WALKER (I) * JAN. 21
In his first State of the State address, Gov.
Walker began his discussion on education
by reminding Alaskans that the state is
facing one of its biggest budget deficits.
Although he vowed to protect education
funding as best he could, Mr. Walker also
underscored that falling oil prices will
force the energy-dependent state to
tighten its belt.
Beyond that, the governor did not outline
any concrete education initiatives, but
discussed the need to increase career
and technical education opportunities
and to train young people for the jobs of
tomorrow: "We do that by being creative,
[by] parents stepping up and teachers and
administrators thinking outside the box,"
GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D) * JAN. 15
In his address, Gov. Hickenlooper
outlined a recommendation for providing
$200 million in one-time funding for
local districts to use at their own
To support its education system,
"Colorado must also become the best
state in the country to recruit, retain, and
grow great teachers," he said, pointing
to licensure reforms, career ladders, and
a "fair evaluation system" as ways to
achieve that goal.
Gov. Hickenlooper said he looked
forward to the recommendations of a
task force assembled to propose changes
to the state's student assessment
systems. "Easing the testing demands
on 12th graders in social studies and
science, and streamlining tests in
early years and finding flexibility with
approaches to social studies might be
among the right answers," he said.
GOV. JACK MARKELL (D) * JAN. 22
In his seventh State of the State address,
Gov. Markell proposed a lofty education goal
he is calling the Delaware Promise:
"By 2025, 65 percent of our workforce
will earn a college degree or professional
certificate. Everyone will earn at least a
high school diploma."
He also announced a partnership among
employers, universities, and K-12 schools
that will provide specialized career training
for high school students. The Pathways to
Prosperity initiative will allow students
to earn college credits and certificates
from industry partners, including those in
information technology, hospitality, financial
services, and health care.
In addition, the governor said he will
create a school funding task force to make
recommendations "that would spur more
innovation in our schools and address
inequities for our neediest students."
Gov. Markell also pointed to a new teachercompensation
plan he helped push forward,
saying: "We'll raise starting salaries and
allow educators to earn more by taking on
leadership responsibilities while remaining in
GOV. SAM BROWNBACK (R) * JAN. 15
Calling K-12 education one of "the major
drivers in state spending increases," Gov.
Brownback called for a new funding formula
for the Sunflower State's schools.
"For decades now, Kansas has struggled
under a school finance formula which is
designed not to be understood-to frustrate
efforts at accountability and efficiency," he
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval acknowledges a guest in the gallery during his State of
the State address at the Capitol in Carson City on Jan. 15.
Nevada Eyes Tax Hike for Schools
Nevada Governor Brian E. Sandoval
proposed raising taxes to support a
sweeping set of education initiatives he
said will modernize the state's lagging
K-12 school system.
Gov. Sandoval's proposals, which were
laid out in his State of the State address
this month, will cost an estimated
$430 million over the next two years.
He proposed changing some business
license fees and using the proceeds to
pay for the education programs. The
governor also proposed making some
temporary taxes permanent.
The Republican governor's ambitious
K-12 plans touch every aspect of the
school system, from expanding pre-K, reforming
collective bargaining, overhauling
the way the state funds its schools,
and continuing tax credits for businesses
that give scholarships to allow at-risk
students to attend private schools.
The plans include: $20 million in
matching funds to encourage successful
charter schools to expand; $36 million
in grants to social workers as part of an
anti-bullying effort; around $30 million
to support literacy programs; nearly
$50 million to put a digital device in the
hands of every middle school student
and expand technology programs; and
more than $20 million for the expansion
of stem and career and technical
education in high schools. He also proposed
$50 million to help students in
the state's impoverished schools.
The governor plans to create an
achievement school district that will
take over and run the state's persistently
failing schools, which comprise
about 10 percent of the state's schools.
Former Washoe County Superintendent
Pedro Martinez will become the superintendent-in-residence
in the state education
department and will head up the
Gov. Sandoval also wants to change
state law to allow school board members
to be appointed and to audit the
state's countywide school district system
to determine whether it is the most
-DENISA R. SUPERVILLE
Gov. Brownback urged the legislature
to repeal the state's current formula and
appropriate money directly to districts during
the next two-year budget cycle while it drafts
a new funding plan.
In December, a district court ruled that
Kansas' school funding system is "inadequate
from any rational perspective."
The state also has a projected $278 million
budget shortfall for fiscal 2015.
GOV. RICK SNYDER (R) * JAN. 20
In his speech to state lawmakers,
Gov. Snyder said it is his goal to eliminate
barriers that keep state residents from taking
advantage of the "river of opportunity."
One of those barriers, he said, is the
inability to read proficiently by 3rd grade. The
governor said he plans to introduce legislation
that will support students in the early grades,
and will also ask for a commission to develop
further recommendations the state can adopt
to help young readers. Currently, 70 percent
of the state's children reach the 3rd grade
reading benchmark, he said.
In addition, the governor said that he wants
to tackle the "uncoordinated educational
environment" in Detroit, which currently
has charter schools with dozens of different
authorizers, schools that are managed by
the local district, and low-performing schools
that are overseen by the state's Education
"Before the first half of the year, I hope to
call for legislation to bring more structure
20 | EDUCATION WEEK | January 28, 2015 | www.edweek.org
and more thoughtfulness to deal with these
challenged situations," Mr. Snyder said.
He is required to present a budget proposal
to state lawmakers by mid-February.
-CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS
GOV. JAY NIXON (D) * JAN. 21
Calling education "the best economic
development tool we have," the governor said
his proposed budget would increase public
education funding by $150 million to allow for
more technology in classrooms, smaller class
sizes, more hands-on learning, and higher
teacher pay. If his budget is approved, it would
amount to a record allocation for K-12 schools.
Mr. Nixon also recommended start-up
grants to expand Project Lead the Way to
350 more elementary schools. Currently, 34
elementary schools offer these programs. The
nonprofit provides K-12 programs for teaching
science, technology, engineering, and math. To
boost kindergarten readiness, the governor
proposed awarding $11 million in the form
of grants to public and private preschools to
serve disadvantaged 3- to 5-year-olds.
In the wake of statewide and national
protests over a grand jury's decision not to
indict a white police officer who shot and
killed African-American teenager Michael
Brown in Ferguson last year, the governor
said Ferguson's legacy will be determined
by what is done next "to foster healing and
hope." One of his recommended remedies: to
"strengthen failing schools."
Tiffany Anderson, the superintendent of the
2,500-student Jennings school district which
neighbors Ferguson, and a 2015 Education
Week Leader to Learn From, attended the
speech and received accolades from the
governor. Despite high poverty in the district,
her students "have made big leaps forward
over the past several years with higher test
scores and higher graduation rates."
GOV. PETE RICKETTS (R) * JAN. 22
In his inaugural State of the State
speech, Gov. Ricketts laid out a two-year
budget plan that would increase state aid
to schools by 3 percent during the 201516
school year and 1.6 percent during the
2016-17 school year.
"As we seek to create jobs, slow the
growth of government, reduce taxes, and
fight burdensome regulations, we must
also continue to strengthen our education
system," Mr. Ricketts said. "As we balance
our budget, we must ensure we put a
priority on proper school funding and
improving educational outcomes."
He said his budget would provide a
3 percent increase in funding for the
University of Nebraska, the state colleges,
and the community colleges. He also
proposed a $250,000 a year pilot program,
that would fund a public-private
partnership to create new career- and
GOV. SUSANA MARTINEZ (R) * JAN. 20
Gov. Martinez called on state lawmakers
to raise starting teacher salaries by an
additional $2,000 per year, provide every
teacher with a $100 debit card each year to
purchase classroom supplies, and offer two-LAUREN
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 28, 2015
Education Week - January 28, 2015
Activists Learn Art of ‘Test Refusal’
Ed. School Deans Join Forces To Bolster Teacher Preparation
N.C. District Rebounds From Ed-Tech Meltdown
Poverty Data Signal Urgency for Schools
News in Brief
Chicago’s Closures Drove Most to Higher-Rated Schools
More Districts Expected to Follow Boston on Longer Days
International Study Ranks Schools on Social Stress, Equity
Blogs of the Week
No Firm Direction on Testing Set At Senate Panel’s ESEA Hearing
As Job Description Grows, So Does Churn for State Chiefs
K-12 Issues Given Short Shrift in State of the Union Address
State of the States
Blogs of the Week
SUSAN H. FUHRMAN: Measurement Alone Cannot Propel Improvement
SAMINA HADI-TABASSUM: Too Much Discipline Hurts Majority-Minority Schools
GARRISON WALTERS: Dump Management ‘Science,’ And Change Learning Attitudes
Education Week - January 28, 2015