Bill Mauldin, a Democrat (who blogs at Georgia Back Roads) running for the Georiga House in district 126 against Rep. David Knight, a first term Republican, commented so on my post "Sonny Needs a "Don't List". His response deserves the front page, so here goes:
The day all homeowners dread may have arrived. To face the looming budget shortfall, Gov. Perdue cut back education funds yet again by 2%. The rebuttal being offered is that this 2% was above last years budget anyhow, therefore education will actually be the same as the year before. Now help me with my math here. Last years budget = poor performing schools, massive student failure rate, Georgia scraping the bottom of US education statistics (and US isn't ranked to hot to begin with among other developed nations). Now; This years budget + 2% funding - 2% funding = better performance overall. I don't see the prioritizing that education is due.What I do see, however,as a homeowner and business owner, is the fact that local governments will be faced with the prospect of making up that shortfall by raising property taxes. Not a pretty scenario for homeowners who are preparing to pay fuel costs for winter, and some of which are already struggling with mortgage payments, to be faced with a nice increase in their monthly payments because our State cannot plan ahead with budgeting. And its really not fair to the municipal and county governments who have begun implementing school budgets (which started this week for many) and now have the State saying that it won't pony up its share. These governments and officials will take the necessary steps to continue trying to improve their education, yet will face the public hostility and voter reactions as a result. And mark my words, the words "school vouchers" will be the golden word that many will try and sell to voters as the cure all for our education ills. State Sen. Eric Johnson has publicly stated that this is the right path and if implemented will be fully funded, "no exceptions!". How can we take this for face value when the same statements were made after the majority of students in some districts couldn't pass state exams last year. "Fully funded, no exceptions!"? I take exception to that.