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.
Sometimes I feel like I'm just piling on but what else can you say about this sort of thing?
I actually want him to do well and get re-elected but he's not making it easy on himself. Who is in his corner? Who's going to come out and put in the man hours to get this guy re-elected? He didn't lay the ground work early in his term to make these sort of cuts palatable. He acted like he didn't need his friends or his allies and didn't build up any political capital with his base. Now he's in a position where all he can do is inflict damage on various interests that he desperately needs to rally to his support.
I guess he's going all in with the enviros?
A motivated GOP base, a deflated Dem base and Independents who are freaked out about the economy and anti-incumbent. Doesn't sound like a recipe for victory to me.
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