Read Thursday’s WBEZ article on what they correctly call the “down payment” we’ll be making this year under the new school funding bill.
Most people probably think the bill was just about fairness in how state dollars get allocated because that’s what its supporters always talk about. Changes inn that formula indeed were long overdue.
What’s been overlooked is that the bill also calls for massive new spending.
WBEZ details how many districts will be deemed underfunded and what they will be expecting. 60% of districts are underfunded today. That won’t be fixed by the additional $350 million authorized under the new bill. Not by a long shot.
Even the WBEZ article understates it. The bill assumes and additional $350 million each year for ten years. In other words, that’s an additional $3.5 billion in year ten — at a minimum. It might go up to $6 billion. That’s just to get to “adequacy,” which is the new buzzword from the bill.
Well, the budget, which includes the first $350 million, is already unbalanced, even including revenue from the recent tax increase.
Count on hundreds of school districts screaming “inadequacy” in their funding for years to come, citing the new formula in the bill, along with demands for higher taxes to pay for it.
–Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints. Opinions expressed are his own.