Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

January 29, 2014

How do you choose among your children?


Journal-Times

Jan. 29, 2014 — If state government is like a family and the governor is like the father of that family, we wonder how Steve Beshear decided it was OK to treat his “children” so differently in the proposed state budget.

The governor has met his constitutional obligation to suggest a new budget but now the General Assembly is responsible for actually making the final decision on who gets how much in 2014-16.

We believe the governor effectively took a meat ax to Kentucky’s so-called “seamless” system of public education from pre-school through graduate school.

He is rightly being hailed as the hero of P-12 education for recommending hundreds of millions of dollars for teacher pay raises and other badly-needed support for the state’s 173 public school districts.

We’ve been complaining for a year that advances in education were being lost because of inadequate funding of the public schools.

But the governor took an entirely different view of public higher education when he suggested the universities and community college system cough up another 2.5 percent of their current state appropriations.

That would cost Morehead State University just over $1 million, bringing its total decrease since 2008 to more than $8.1 million.

MSU has had its largest enrollments in history in the last two years.

Ashland Community and Technical College would be expected to give up several hundred thousand dollars from its budget.

Millions of dollars in capital construction are proposed for MSU and ACTC but none of that money can be used to pay salaries or finance scholarships.

The governor also proposed another budget cut for the Kentucky State Police, the agency which laid off troopers last year for lack of funding.

With apologies to Robin Hood, it appears the guv is asking the legislature to take from the poor to give to the poor.