Sunday, March 23, 2014

WPost: Montgomery Co. is poised to spend money on schools that it will regret

THE FISCAL WOUNDS inflicted on local governments during the Great Recession have barely begun to heal, but already politicians in Montgomery County seem intent on taking a stroll down memory-impaired lane. They are poised to pump up per capita spending on public schools even though state law all but ensures that any such increase will be irrevocable — in perpetuity. That state law, enacted in 2012 at the behest of the teachers union, means that any good budgetary deed by the county will be punished in the next economic downturn. How soon county officials forget.
It was just a few years ago that Montgomery County, its budget depleted by the recession, ran afoul of state rules forbidding any cuts in per capita school funding. The county appealed and eventually prevailed, modestly trimming spending on public education even as it made much steeper reductions for libraries, parks and transportation. Then the teachers union flexed its muscle in Annapolis— and struck back...

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