Friday, March 16, 2007

Dead funding: Lynch switches course again

The following editorial appeared in the Union Leader. School board members, the Claremont lawyers, the Londonderry lawyers, the teachers' unions and administrators are not going to be happy until an amendment includes an income tax and uncontrolled spending on the part of schools. The Claremont case was not about need it was about greed. Any definition that does not have cost controls will only lead to an income tax, future income tax increases and continued lawsuits by greedy educrats.

Dead funding: Lynch switches course again

Monday, Mar. 12, 2007

WE WONDERED how long Gov. John Lynch's original education funding proposal would last once school board members started calling their legislators in protest. Answer: just shy of two months.

It's nice to have a governor willing to listen to lawmakers and adjust his positions after hearing them out. It would be nice, too, to have a governor who better thought out his own proposals before making them.

First, Gov. Lynch was opposed to amending the state constitution to effectively overturn the state Supreme Court's Claremont rulings. Now he's pushing an amendment. First, he was against Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen's GraniteCare plan. Now he's using it to balance his budget. First, he was against Gov. Craig Benson's plan to create a Web site where residents could go to compare prescription drug costs. Now he's promoting it.

We could go on, but you get the point.

When Gov. Lynch proposed an across-the-board 5 percent increase in state education aid this year, it was a shock for a couple of reasons. One, it raised aid to communities that didn't need or expect it while shrinking aid to those that arguably do need it and definitely expected it. Two, anyone could see that it would not fly in the Legislature.

Sure enough, nearly two months later the governor has reversed course. He won't say exactly why he changed his mind, but rest assured that there was intense political pressure to give schools more money.

Gov. Lynch gets credit for shifting money in the budget without being overly concerned about upsetting the status quo. But you cannot ignore the status quo. He really should have done more to test support for his education funding plan before releasing it. We've lost two months in which the governor's energies could have been focused on gathering support for the necessary constitutional amendment, but were instead diverted by a poorly conceived school funding plan that was dead on arrival.

No comments: