Wash. School System is a Funding Conundrum

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Monday, December 12, 2011

Amid the droves of protesters greeting state lawmakers at the start of the special session were hundreds of teachers toting signs decrying cuts in state funding for public schools.

Their battle cry was "no more cuts" because they said too many state dollars have been siphoned from education amid a recession-driven collapse of tax collections.

But the state budget tells a different story.

The state is on course to pour $789 million more into the school system in this two-year budget compared to the last biennium, though it will wind up with less classroom-related education for those dollars.

It's a numeric conundrum for the governor, lawmakers and educators. Here they are trying to convince a skeptical public of how budget cuts are hurting students while the balance sheets show more taxpayer dollars are getting pumped into the K-12 system.

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