Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to think about the budget

I liked most of what Jack Lessenberry had to say in this essay on the state budget. (Read it, or go down to the bottom to hear the "audio story.") He's right, kids don't vote but we do. And cutting higher education is a poor choice in the longer run. (With kids in high school, it doesn't even seem like that much of a "longer run" to me.)

It made me start wondering--since the per-pupil funding is not evenly distributed (Ann Arbor is near the top, Manchester and Willow Run are at the bottom)--should a per-pupil cut be evenly distributed? Should every district lose $59/student (if that in fact comes to pass) or should poorer districts lose less, so that the proportions are even? Obviously, that would disadvantage my own district, but isn't the point of public schools to give everyone an even chance? Not that that really happens now...

Proposal A might have sounded like a good thing at the time (well, I voted against it) and in retrospect I think it's made us worse off than I might have predicted. More on that another time.

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