Education Week - February 15, 2017 - 16
STATE of the STATES
Here are summaries of recent annual addresses
by governors around the country.
GOV. JERRY BROWN (D) * JAN. 23
In response to President Donald Trump and his aggressive
stance on immigration, Brown promised in his State of the
State speech to protect California's immigrants, pledging
that the state would "defend everybody-every man, woman,
and child-who has come here for a better life and has
contributed to the well-being of our state."
Several California school districts have pledged to
protect the status of their undocumented students, and
voters overwhelmingly voted in November to end nearly
20-year-old restrictions on bilingual education programs in
Brown also emphasized in his speech that he has added
"tens of billions" more dollars to the state's education budget.
Earlier in January, he proposed to increase his education
budget by more than $1 billion in fiscal 2018 despite an
expected state revenue shortfall.
DAAREL BURNETTE II
He didn't give much detail on the initiatives, however, or
any budget specifics.
Last month, Rauner and several Republican legislators
proposed a bill that would allow the state to take over the
financially struggling Chicago school system. Most notably,
the bill would allow the district to declare bankruptcy and
establish that the state would not be liable for the school
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R) * FEB. 1
The governor gave K-12 education funding a high profile
in his State of the State address, saying that in addition to
fully funding the legislature's K-12 funding formula this
year at a proposed $6.4 billion, his budget proposal includes
$334 million for school construction.
He also advocated passage of a bill that would facilitate
charter school approvals in Maryland, and pushed to add
$2 million to a $5 million voucher program that lets lowincome students attend private schools. That investment
would help children who are "trapped in persistently failing
schools," Hogan said.
GOV. BRUCE RAUNER (R) * JAN. 27
Education was a significant piece of the governor's
annual address to legislators, in which he outlined 10
long-term goals including expanding school choice for
children attending academically struggling schools,
building a "comprehensive, consistent, objective
student-growth measure not necessarily based on the
[Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and
Careers] exam," and growing the state's early-childhood
Rauner also said the state is "committed to eliminating
wasteful bureaucracy, putting more money into our
classrooms, freeing up our teachers to teach, and holding our
schools truly accountable for results."
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R) * JAN. 24
The governor encouraged lawmakers to create more
"empowerment zones," which allow decisionmaking at the
school level, rather than the district level, and "create more
flexibility," he said.
Baker previously supported a failed effort to lift the state's
cap on charter schools. He has praised empowerment zones,
modeled on an effort in Springfield, Mass., as a way to "allow
educators to make the changes necessary to provide a better
learning environment for our kids."
Baker also encouraged the state's board of education
to use its power to take over "struggling districts."
Existing takeovers of three districts have "demonstrated
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GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) * JAN. 17
The governor-who held a series of speeches on various
policy topics around the state this year, rather than a
single State of the State address-said in a speech in
Albany that he is proposing to increase K-12 education
spending by $1 billion for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The state
spends around $60 billion a year on K-12 education.
Cuomo also proposed on an earlier leg of the trip to
provide free tuition at state colleges and universities for
students whose families make less than $125,000.
"College is a mandatory step if you really want to be a
success," Cuomo said. "This society should say, 'We're going
to pay for college because you need college to be successful.' "
GOV. TOM WOLF (D) * FEB. 7
In his third budget address to the Pennsylvania
legislature, Wolf touted recent efforts to restore the previous
administration's "devastating" cuts to education funding and
pledged $125 million in new state money for K-12 schools.
Wolf's budget proposal also called for $75 million in new
money for early-childhood education.
"Parents and teachers will no longer have to spend their
summers worrying about whether the school doors will open
in September," he said, referring to several years marked by
school-budget crises across the state.
The $32.3 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2018
includes $12.8 billion for pre-K-12 education. It would need to
be approved by the state's Republican-controlled legislature.
Read online compilation & links to full speeches.
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"The best teachers are like
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16 | EDUCATION WEEK | February 15, 2017 | www.edweek.org
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that state takeovers can offer significant benefits to
students, parents, and teachers in schools that need our
support," Baker said.
any field, the best learners
(and teachers) stress-test assumptions.
The profound often hides within absurd,
even heretical, experiments."
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