To the Editor:
I read Jerry Behn's letter that was listed as an article with the Daily Freeman-Journal and it seems he is playing politics with education funding.
He is claiming that a 4 percent rise in the state's funding of public education is the Democrats at the state level trying to take control of public schools away from local communities. What he fails to mention is that the national inflation rate is almost 3 percent and the rise in state funding will mostly be covering the rise in costs for food, fuel, salaries, buildings, maintenance and have nothing to do with what children are taught or how local schools spend their funds, which it seems is what he thinks the money goes towards.
I was with everything he was saying until he started mentioning the 2 percent increase that was budgeted for schools in 2009 but they were required to cut 10 percent of costs and blamed this on Democrats.
While Culver was governor at the time, there was an across the board cut to state funding to make up for a $500 million shortfall in state funds due to a loss in property taxes and the fall of Wall Street. This was an attempt to be fiscally responsible and make sure the state did not go bankrupt and now it is used as politics.
Allowable Growth is in reference to inflation and not the growth of state control over schools. Fiscal responsibility is making sure the proper amount is spent without overspending. When things go well you make sure the bills are paid and when things go bad you cut back to make sure the bills can be paid.
Education reform should not be discussed in the same conversation with budgets until you need to find out how much it is going to cost to do what you want.
So what is it you want to do, Mr. Behn?