Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shouldn't the Department of Education fight against budget cuts?

Grim news from the State Department of Education: pressured by Gov. Bobby Jindal, the department is cutting more than $16 million from the budget in the middle of the fiscal year.

Much of the money is being cut from early childhood education, literacy and numeracy initiatives. These are the very areas that need bolstering if the state is to meet its ambitious education accountability goals.

These cuts, like those imposed on higher education by the governor, are not necessary - there is more than enough money, some $450 million, coming in from a tax amnesty program to avoid any cuts to education.

While the governor burnishes his right-wing credentials in anticipation of a run for the White House, our K-12 and higher education systems fall farther behind the other states.

Here's a question. State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek is well known for his prickly personality and willingness to fight for most any reason. So why isn't he challenging the big boss over budget cuts that most assuredly will harm our schools, our children and our state?

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