Rounds' Favorite Word For Education Funding

One Time… Looking over the slides provided on the state website, one thing comes to mind. I doubt very seriously that the districts suing the state will have much hope for calling off their lawsuit anytime soon. On the heals of the totally useless State Aid Study Task Force, Governor Rounds outlined his plans for the FY2008 budget and it again is filled with his favorite term when talking about education funding, “one time”. Rounds did bring up his DOA proposal from last year that seeks to make available $4 million in state matching funds for districts to use to to compensate educators involved in what he terms as “education improvement projects”. This is the same project he proposed last year to a group of 400 educators that died because the districts believed that it would take away their control. The only extra school funding proposed again this year is the mandatory 3 percent increase plus a few dollars for technology and special education programs. One interesting side note from the governor that is a member of the “small government” GOP is that the discretionary spending increases budgeted for next FY includes 2.5 times more money for state employee compensation (10.4 Mil) than it does for K-12 teacher compensation (4.0 Mil) and remember that 4 million is contingent on the teacher being involved in one of those “education improvement projects”. Now that Rounds has put his budget cards on the table, it will be interesting to see if the state legislature will do anything to change that “one time” label that is so prevalent in our school funding agenda these days. 3 percent a year funding increases barely cover inflation costs and funding new programs and teacher salary increases is hard to do with “one time” money.

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