Alabama Governor proposes massive education cuts
Alabama’s budget woes have gotten so bad that the governor wants to siphon off money from education to help balance the state’s general fund.
By way of information posted on Al.com, Governor Robert Bentley wants to balance the state’s paltry general fund by using money from the state’s education trust fund (ETF). This seems to be a popular move when budget woes emerge as Bentley did the same thing last year.
However, this year’s attempt isn’t going over so well with the state’s legislators. Because they picked from the ETF last year, lawmakers aren’t keen on making the same move this year.
Bentley’s proposal would significantly weaken the ETF as he wants to shift some tax revenue away from it and shift it all to the general fund.
But Alabama’s financial situation isn’t all bad as the governor is proposing a pay raise and cost of living increase for teachers and state employees.
While the trust fund isn’t the only means of economy for education in the state, there is interesting irony that Bentley wants to cut education dollars while championing teacher pay raises.
Yet without the shift in money from the ETF to the general fund, the governor is faced with making additional cuts or raising taxes. Lawmakers and residents aren’t likely to go for raising taxes, so cuts are probably on the table.
If so, that many mean that pay raises and cost of living increases may be frozen again in the name of affordability. Bentley may also say that he was for a teacher pay raise before he was against but state funding made him change his mind.
Still–it’s always a wonder as to why so many politicians land on education when deciding to make cuts or to shift money to avoid cuts.
Politicians can’t have it both ways: either be for education or staunchly against because continuing to cut money from it will only compound an already complex problem.