Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Robbing Dick to pay Jane: Gov. Bryant cuts $73M from education, attempts to cover it up with other people's money

Well, here we go.  Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has released his Executive Budget Recommendation, and in it, he slashes $72,900,000.00 from the education budget.  He then asks school districts that have saved their money to pitch in to cover his cuts.  (You can read Bryant's budget recommendation here.)

Democrats have quickly responded.  You can read the response from the Mississippi Democratic Trust here.

7 comments:

bill said...

This is going to be a bad year for the budget. Governor Bryant is recommending cuts across the board and is leading the way by cutting his own office more than he's asking for from anyone else. Tough times call for tough measures. Sometimes we get short of money and have to dip into savings to make up the difference, and we're usually lucky to have the savings in the first place. That's the position our schools are in this year. What are reserve funds for if not to make up the difference in what you have and what you need? Bill Billingsley

bill said...

Further, how can throwing more money at education be the solution? We've proven year after year that Mississippi can spend 60% of it's entire budget on education, and that doesn't include the millions of dollars that are spent educating thousands of kids in private schools, yet we still remain at the bottom of the rankings. Hmm...maybe the problem's not in the classroom, or even anywhere in the educational system. Let's reduce the number of paper pushers and replace them with people who can go into the communities and help educate the parents of the at risk kids. Education begins at home, and the best teachers can't have an impact unless the parents are involved and included in motivating the child. Bill Billingsley

Cottonmouth said...

Bill, certainly money is not the only answer. But before you trot out the tired "we just keep throwing money at it" line, you should check out the Census Bureau's 2009 Public Education Finances report.

To say we're overspending on education is to blame the malnourished child after we feed him only once a day.

The answer lies in BOTH higher spending and innovative approaches to education. It's not an either or proposition.

billy b said...

The answer lies in the fact that a moderately large percentage of Mississippian's do not like the concept of public schools to begin with. See, those "other people" have children that go there. Lets face the facts here folks, the "premiere" mechanism for funding Mississippi's public schools was legislation back in the late 1990's entitled "Mississippi Adequate Education Program". So, as good as the mindset and culture of the top elected state officials here could achieve was something "adequate"? This says it all, this state prays for nothing more than "adequate" when it comes to it's public education system. Remember, those "other people" send their kids to these schools...

bill said...

I understand what you're saying, Matt, and I might be tempted to agree with you if I knew how the new money was going to be spent. I think money can be moved around within the education budget to help address the weaker areas without having to appropriate more money just so the superintendent's secretary can get a new car. If we need to take a deeper look at nutrition in younger kids then let's look at it, but don't call it education. Bill

bill said...

Billy, are you basing your argument over what they decided to call the program? They could have just as easily named it the Excellence in Education Program or something equally nondescript. Even if the name is accurate, in hard economic times adequate is sometimes the best you can do.

Oh, and quit trying to make a class/racist argument out of private schools. Black kids go to private school too and white kids are in public schools. Bill

DeltaLitProf said...

This may be a stupid question: if Bryant wants district consolidations, why doesn't he ask for that legislation? Instead, he's sending out this budget recommendation that will cause resentment between the rich school districts and the poor ones and washing his hands of who makes the decision on how or whether the rich districts will share their surpluses.