Friday, December 19, 2008

Here comes the Guv...and her education budget cuts

Christine Gregoire rolled out her new budget yesterday with $3.5 billion in cuts and no new taxes. I guess, she must have really been serious during the election when she said, "No tax increases" because she trimmed extensively instead of tapping the tax payers for more.

K-12 appears to have not been hit as hard as expected. From the Seattle Times:

"Overall, I think K-12 education did as well as we could possibly hope for," said Paul Rosier, executive director of the Washington Association of School Administrators.

The biggest proposed cuts were:

• Suspending the cost-of-living raises that teachers receive under Initiative 732 ($349 million in savings).

• Cutting roughly one-quarter of Initiative 728, designed to lower class sizes ($178 million in savings).

• And slashing one-third of "levy equalization," which helps "property-poor" districts ($125 million in savings).


Now, of course, this is just little old me talking but how do you cut from an already underfunded program? Answer: very painfully. And, yet again, the teachers take the brunt as if they already weren't under paid and under supported.

Let's hope some real fiscal help and leadership on public education comes from the other Washington soon.

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