Time for a better funding plan

Published 2:09 pm Friday, January 29, 2010

We live in a world where all too often we must constantly clarify our statements, ensuring not to offend some individual or some group. We live in a world where our elected leaders work tirelessly to be all things to all people rather than being the leaders we elected them to be.

In this world, we far too often see government taking on responsibilities far and above what was originally intended and then doing far worse at those tasks than those at the local level or the private sector could do.

Such is the case when it comes to public education and the convoluted structure in place to fund a public school system.

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It is disheartening when politicians – elected to represent us – go to city hall, Richmond or Washington and immediately begin pandering to the groups that funded their campaigns, rather than serving the voters who elected them.

Again, such is the case with the funding of public education.

When it comes to providing proper funding to our education system, why in the world have we left it to the politicians, who are unfamiliar with the system?

It seems at the state level – and the federal level for that matter – what should be a simple process of setting a budget, based on expected revenue and projected expenses, has been made much more difficult a process that now involves lobbyists, special interests and closed-minded elected officials.

The best funding option should be one that does not ebb and flow during economic upswings and downswings. The best funding option should have a clear understanding of where the money comes from and a much clearer understanding of where the money goes.

In short, the best funding option should be one that everyone understands and is free and clear of political influence.

The children of Virginia should not have the quality of their education hinge on what group of elected leaders screams louder or wields more influence on the budgetary process.

In our schools we tout the morality of fair play, but it appears those in charge of funding education practice anything but.