Monday, April 5, 2010

Priorities . . .

The above cartoon refers to budget choices Florida is making, but it does seem applicable to the situation in Virginia as well. Educational funding in the Commonwealth is being hit hard at both the state and local levels.

All around us are examples of Incredible Shrinking Education Budgets.

Here, for example, is one Charlottesville's Daily Progress most-commented on articles for last week:

County hears calls for low taxes, better schools

By Brandon Shulleeta

The crowd was split between residents thanking Albemarle supervisors for lowering taxes and those scorning them for not providing more education funding.
And then there's this Associated Press article posted last month on

Virginia higher education faces more budget reductions; schools to raise tuition, cut back


RICHMOND, VA. — As state funding for Virginia's higher-education system continues to shrink, colleges and universities say they'll have to raise tuition again and consider more cutbacks, especially after federal stimulus money disappears.

The budget the General Assembly approved Sunday included across-the-board reductions of $243.5 million in the 2011-12 fiscal years, along with $40.5 million worth of cuts and cost savings.
Many Virginian's are adamant that control of public education remains with the state. Yet we seem to want to avoid making education a fiscal priority; which, could conceivably, in this time of shrinking state and local revenue, mean higher taxes.

What I'd like to know is how important is it to you that the next generation of Virginians be well-educated?  Or, in these hard times, is it more important for you to keep your taxes as low as possible and so keep as much money in your own pocket as possible.

We citizens speak louder with our budgeting priorities than we do with our rhetorical ones. My question is: Are our state and local budgets truly reflecting your priorities when it comes to education?


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