Tough choices

Who could have expected the howls and moans from the Left and the education industry about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposal to trim $20 million from education to help pay for the tens of millions of dollars in damage caused by the Nov. 30 earthquake? Almost anybody.

Dunleavy is offering two supplemental budget bills – legislation that would amend the current fiscal year’s budget – and one includes the $20 million cut.

The $20 million in question was appropriated by the Legislature last May as it struggled to approve the state operating budget. It was to be handed out to the state’s 53 school districts and the Mount Edgecumbe school in Sitka.

But, the Juneau Empire reports: A state Office of Budget and Management document says, “the additional funding created a situation in which education was funded beyond the statutorily required amount while other programs were underfunded. This reduction is required to meet other obligations of the state.”

Dunleavy took office promising to cut spending and make the state’s books – now running $1.6 billion in the red – to balance. That means there are choices to be made, tough choices, and it will not be easy.

Alaska already spends more than $2 billion annually on education, putting it near the top of states’ education spending. Why should education in Alaska be immune to cuts? And who – other than teachers’ unions – realistically believes that cutting an amount that is less than 1 percent of the state’s education spending is undoable?

The state spends too much – no matter the howling from the Left.

5 Responses to Tough choices

  1. Andy January 29, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Twenty million is a tiny drop in the benevolent bucket. At current deficit spending levels, thats less than five days of cash burn.

    The staggering budget deficit is a challenge of epic proportion. Let’s all hope that drll baby drill stays fiscally ahead of burn baby burn. The public will vote for their own self interest , hoping somone else will pay the bill.

    I am still coviced that one will pay a large income tax for a paltry PFD. The rich get poorer, and the poor get richer. A sad trend that we are politically moving toward, rather than away.

  2. R-Dubya January 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    It’s almost laughable that the incessant Whining, Crying and Bally-Hooing is over ‘only’ a $20MM cut. In reality, we should be seeking a much more significant reduction overall, something like a 25% cut. Then, figure out a way of doing more with less. After all, each and every one of us have to do this in our personal lives.
    – Why shouldn’t the State Government have to live within it’s justified means?
    – Why is it that Alaska spends so much on education yet, ranks at the bottom in test scores?
    – If we continue to throw money at the Department of Education, when can we reasonably expect better results?
    – Is the current education system in AK sustainable?
    – FINALLY … Why can’t we just ship the AK kids off to another State that have a better school system, housing and education just like a college, but for primary and secondary kids? I’m sure we could get a ‘Quantity Discount’ for this approach. There might be some cost savings in this approach.

  3. A.M. Johnson January 29, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    This and every other proposed “Cut” will be cause for ‘Pop corn” time.
    It will be hard for the legislature to deal with real “Cuts and not the normal political “Cuts” that are nothing but proposed increases that are not funded. Stay tuned!!
    (I can hardly wait for the “Independent” Representative reaction to this particular cut.

  4. Andy Holleman January 30, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    The part people are leaving out is, school districts incorporated this amount into their budgets that started on July 1, 2018. People were hired. Contracts were let. There’s a plan running from then until June 30 of this year that includes those funds.
    They’re spent, depending on the faith of state government.
    Heck, why not go repeal some appropriations from 2014 or somewhere else, and get the money that way??

  5. Morrigan January 31, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Wonder if stuffing the sources of the howls with everything Common Core would lessen the racket a bit…


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