Tribune Agrees with Senator Morgan – Education Budget is “Baloney”

Senator Karen Morgan says the proposed education budget for 2011 is nothing but “smoke and mirrors.”  The Editorial Board at the Salt Lake Tribune agrees.In an editorial today, the Tribune points out that claims the budget will pay for expected student growth is “pure baloney.”

The base budget for education passed by the Legislature last week would take $76 million from one education-fund pot, called the flexible allocation WPU (weighted pupil unit) distribution, and use it to fund enrollment growth. The problem with that is that the flexible allocation distribution is money Utah schools are already allotted and are using to help pay for mandatory retirement and Social Security costs.

If the flexible allocation distribution is used to hire teachers or buy supplies for the thousands of new students, then school districts will have to cut their budgets for such programs and services as reading, remedial assistance, busing and school nurses in order to make up the difference.

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