The AJC reports that Sonny Perdue, the anti-education governor, is going to give more to schools with his supposed $580 million dollar surplus. Lemme check.....yep.......it's an election year for Sonny.
Perdue is the first Georgia governor in my memory that looks to education, of all things, to make his cuts. Just remember back to last summer when his answer to the gas crisis was to close schools for 2 days so that school buses wouldn't have to use as much gasoline.
Personally, I think he's done some numbers finagling in his bragadocious speeches about deficits and surpluses during his term. But we've all heard from our local school superintendents, school boards, and teachers about the terrible affects of Perdue's budget cuts in education and his increasing of unfundated mandates. And we also know about the lawsuit that 51 rural school districts have filed against the state because they're underfunded. Education has hardly been a priority of this governor.
But this part of the article is what really bothers me. It shows his attitude towards education professionals who are just trying to do their job and about education in general:
But while the total budget has increased, the money for classroom instruction has been cut. During the past four years, those cuts have totaled more than $1 billion.
About 100 school districts have increased property taxes during Perdue's tenure, some saying it was because of state funding cuts.
School superintendents from 22 Georgia school districts signed a letter in April criticizing Perdue's and the Legislature's handling of education.
Perdue anticipated such criticism. "I don't have to warn you it's a political year," he told reporters.
When asked about local officials' complaints about school funding, he responded, "The state is funding education at a higher level than we ever have before. At $400 per student [more], I'm not sure what they expect us to do."
So Sonny, school superintendents have to deal with your mess on education funding and you simply dismiss their criticism of you as being part of a "political year." I find that very disturbing, and just slightly hypocritical.
And I'll tell you what education professionals, parents, and Georgia's students expect you to do. They expect you to not play politics with funding and to find ways to give them a chance to succeed.