Sunday, February 08, 2009

-1 + -1 x 1 = Democratically Authorized Education Cuts

It's hard to follow all the in and outs of where Congress and the NM Legislature is regarding "Economic Stimulus 2009". One wonders if the Congresspeople and Legislators themselves are keeping up well with all the changes.

Still, here's a few quotes put together from various sources:

"Billion Dollar Cuts

$40 billion State Fiscal Stabilization

$16 billion School Construction..."
--reported to "Planet Washington/McClatchy" from Senator Patrick Leahy's Office, filed 2.6.09

And what is this "State Fiscal Stabilization" fund?

"The Senate economic recovery bill includes a $79-billion “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” (prior to proposed cuts) to help state and local governments fund education and other key services. The economic downturn has opened budget deficits in 46 states, forcing large spending cuts and layoffs, with more expected. These actions remove demand from the economy, which deepens the downturn.

The Stabilization Fund would provide funds to partially close state and local budget shortfalls and allow states to avoid some of the most harmful actions they otherwise would have to take to meet their balanced budget requirements. In particular, it would help avert damaging cuts in state aid to education (my emphasis) at a time when school districts are reeling from declines in property taxes caused by sinking property values. The economic recovery bill that the House passed includes a similar provision."
--from this really good recap of such things by Jason Levitus and Joan Huffer at Center for Budget and Priorities 2.4.09

Meanwhile, on the State of NM side the Governor has already signed into law a budget reduction including the following:

There will be a 1 percent net reduction in money for public schools under the deficit reduction package.
--Barry Massey at Associated Press, 2.6.09

All this from a Democratically controlled Federal Executive, House of Representatives and Senate, not to mention a Democratic NM Governor and Democratically controlled NM House/Senate. Thanks Democrats. Thanks a lot.

I know it's not a done deal yet, but the deal as of right now seems to be just one more example: When push comes to shove, Public Education gets shoved off the fiscal bus. And right now the bus is moving 70 mph.

P.S.: I forgot to mention the following cut at the McClatchy site:

$600 million Title I (NCLB)

Figures. What stupid number did I use in my last post? 4,752,993? Well, let's go ahead and make it 4,752,994. What does one say when "ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" isn't enough anymore, without cussing?

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