May 19, 2009

Gregoire rides the wish-horse of reform

Today Governor Gregoire signed a galloping reform bill.
The plan would create smaller classes, full-day kindergarten and a longer high school day to give students a chance to meet higher credit requirements.

It would also distribute state education dollars based on a new formula, but does not include a plan for paying for the changes....

In a room filled with supporters of the reform bill, the governor echoed the sentiments of its critics by also speaking about what was missing from the legislation: a way to pay for it....

Lawmakers and government officials have estimated the reforms could add as much as $4 billion a year to the just under $7 billion the state already spends on K-12 education annually.

Gregoire noted that the Legislature is working to address the lack of money by phasing in the reforms over about eight years and assigning a Quality Education Council to make sure the financing system is put in place.
"If wishes were horses," goes the old saying, "beggars would ride." Step one was beggaring education. Now we get our wish-horse.

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