Gov. Bill Ritter is expected to propose cutting state funding to public schools by as much as 6 percent in the 2010-11 budget he rolls out today.
That's a scenario the administration has considered, though Ritter officials say the cuts are likely to be closer to a 4.4 percent, or a $250 million, net decrease in total funding given to schools compared with the current budget year.
Education groups have said the move could violate Amendment 23, which requires education funding to increase every year by at least the rate of inflation.
I won't presume to tell the governor where to find the funds to balance the state's budget, because I really don't know. But to propose a 6% cut to K-12 education which might not even be constitutional strikes me as absurd. He'll take the political hit for under-funding schools and, if this proves to be unconstitutional, he won't even get the policy benefit. He'll look like a jerk, the constitution will save the schools, and the state will still be running a deficit.