Journalists’ Roundtable: Education funding

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What is finally being done for education funding?

“If they had not acted by March 1st, they would have had to cut close to $1.4 billion of funding. They finally lined up the votes, and said, ‘We can’t let schools close, it’ll look bad,” said Fischer.

“Twenty-six other Republicans joined with Democrats to get this thing passed and do the responsible thing, so that the schools have some certainty and the parents have some certainty as to how this year is going to play out,” said Roberts.

Is this a permanent lift?

“It is not a permanent lift, as long as we’re over the constitutional spending cap every year this is going to happen. We’re $1.4 billion over this year, and of course that included sales tax money that used to be not under the cap that when they re-up the sales tax a couple years ago it didn’t make it under the cap,” said Christie.

“This requires a constitutional amendment, which wouldn’t occur until November ’24 unless they did a special election,” said Fischer. He goes on to say the only way we can resolve this issue is to agree that the cap does not make sense, which is a similar issue to the legislative’s debt ceiling.

Roberts made it a point to discuss how this cap does not apply to charter schools as well as ESA, which is the school’s voucher program. “It’s interesting to me that as the Freedom Caucus talks about the need for more accountability and more money into the classroom, we have virtually no accountability of ESA funds, virtually no accountability of charter schools and yet they don’t seem to worry about that,” said Roberts.

This further proves that they do not like public schools, which most students attend. “Public schools have public school boards. All their budgets are public, if you wanted you could run down to the local school board, you could read their budgets you could go to their meetings, you can sit and listen to them adopt their budgets,” said Christie, which debunks the idea that the budget is all being spent on administrative funding.

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