Barry Rascovar | Rascovar on Politics
...Baltimore city schools' chief Andres Alonso told the city's delegation in Annapolis he faces a $50 million budget deficit due to O'Malley's belt-tightening (Alonso will get $15 million less than last year) and loss of federal funds.
Montgomery County Superintendent Jerry Weast says he is short $82 million, even though the governor gave Montgomery an extra $31 million due to enrollment growth.
Prince George's Superintendent William Hite sees an $85 million shortfall, in part caused by O'Malley cutting state aid by $21 million.
All three superintendents are misleading lawmakers. Despite the lingering recession and bleak fiscal outlook, none of them is proposing a hold-the-line budget for the coming year. They are seeking large increases — as they always do.
The question state legislators must answer is whether these tales of school underfunding are genuine or another example of schools' chiefs creating an exaggerated crisis to get more from Annapolis and county executives...