Friday, February 26, 2010

Tell lawmakers: Don't starve public education!

There is grim news for our schools in Governor Bobby Jindal's proposed budget. Because of bad choices made over the past few years, the state is facing a huge deficit. The governor wants to fix the problem by cutting funds for public education. But at the same time, he wants to increase funds for religious school vouchers and quasi-public charter schools.

If the governor gets his way, these cuts will be made:

  • No more promised stipends for nationally certified teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, and therapists.
  • For the second year, over $60 million in Minimum Foundation Program growth funds will be eliminated.
  • Local school systems will be forced to pay for transportation of private and religious school students.
  • Nearly $13 million in mid-year education budget cuts will be annualized.

But the governor wants to spend $8 million on vouchers that mainly benefit Catholic schools in New Orleans, $35 million on state-approved, quasi-public charter schools, and almost $1 million in contracts to "manage charter schools application and evaluation processes." The State Department of Education will receive $73 million for what it calls "building human capital."

The governor's plan is bad for our schools, bad for our teachers and school employees, and bad for our children!

The first stop for the governor's proposed budget is the House Appropriations Committee. Please click this link and send committee members a message: Don't starve public education!

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