Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Glass Is Not Only Half Empty; It's Also Cracked And Leaking

Bob Mercer put a sinking feeling in my stomach when he posted "State budget trouble is worse than expected."  Mercer reports,
. . . tax receipts through May were $3.6 million lower than the Legislature expected. Sales and use tax revenue is almost precisely on the mark in the Legislature’s estimate. But contractor excise tax revenue is $57.5 million through the 11 months of the 2011 fiscal year. That is below the $59.2 million mark for the similar period a year ago and well below the Legislature’s $63 million target for this point.
In short, Mercer's reporting hints that Daugaard and his cronies will say that less money than is expected is available, so education will have take another hit during the 2012 legislative session.

This Answer Sheet post by Jack Jennings asserts,
As tough as things were financially for school districts last year, prospects are even bleaker in the coming school year, according to data from a nationally representative sample of school districts released today by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy.

In addition to being squeezed by state and district belt-tightening, most districts will no longer have the cushion they had last year from federal stimulus funds that pumped millions of dollars into state and local education budgets.
Jennings makes my stomach churn a bit more when he provides the following statistics.
While 70 percent of school districts nationwide experienced funding cuts in the 2010-11 school year, that percentage is expected to rise to 84 percent in the coming 2011-12 school year — and 63 percent of these districts expect cuts to exceed 5 percent of their existing budgets.
I gulped a handful of Tums and added a few Rolaids after reading this nugget.
School systems are experiencing a triple whammy. Federal resources are drying up at the same time that state budgets are being cut and revenues from local property taxes are shrinking due to falling housing prices and foreclosures.
I've often been called a pessimist.  I prefer to think of myself as a realist, but no matter what one calls oneself, it's pretty clear that South Dakota schools can expect more funding cuts in 2012

1 comment:

yanktonirishred said...

I stopped 20 credits short of my secondary education degree and opted for a business administration degree. I hated the business world and left it for the comfort of cooking and bartending. I have regretted not finishing my degree so often...

...lately not as much. I feel for you Leo.