Opinion: Graves made the right decision
Legislators should follow suit
The state Legislature will consider a proposal that would not cut public education funding after all.
This news comes after school districts in the state received late funding payments from the state in December because of budget shortfalls last year and Gov. Bill Graves announcing last month he would ask for a $158 cut per student in education financing in 2002.
Because of smaller student enrollment and a smaller tax base supporting local option budgets, any funding cuts would have hurt smaller school districts the most, causing them to put new projects and programs on hold.
Graves made the right decision in removing the cuts.
Whether his proposal, which asks for an increase in state sales tax and cigarette taxes to be used to provide small increases to public schools, higher education and social services, will be accepted by Legislators remains to be seen.
Legislators need to look long and hard at the budget before dismissing any increases in education funding because it is one of the government's best investments.
However, it's equally important for every district to analyze where it can reduce expenses in anticipation of worse news come budget time next year.