Friday, April 10, 2009

Quick Notes: Funding

State revenue in March matched March a year ago. We've been working from a forecast of a 2.7% decline for the year, so that's better than recent expectations. The total for the fiscal-year-to-date also matches the similar amount ayear ago. Budget director Mary Lassiter cautions that we should still worry. I suggest taking one deep cleansing breath, smiling once at the possibility that we won't face full disaster, and then worrying for the rest of the year.

UK may cut staff to balance the 2009-10 budget. (President Todd's report last week was about not cutting staff during the current 2008-09 school year.)

$30,000 per student for facilities? That's implied by the estimated $30 million for a new 1,000 student high school in Boyd County. Of course, many students will fill those thousand slots over the life of a sturdy building At a guess, it will be a state-of-the-art facility, capable of supporting some community functions beyond schooling--as it ought to be. True bare bones might cost a good bit less, but even half of $30,000 is a number to remember. (For example, remember it when school choice advocates theorize that "the market" will add classroom space where ever parents want it.)

Some of Kentucky's most vulnerable children depend on a partnership between state funding and private/church charity for food, housing, and care. That partnership is being badly damaged by the state budget, in a way that makes P-12 and postsecondary look prosperous secure by comparison. IMO, this should worry us as much as anything that happens to SEEK or need-based financial aid. Carolyn Edwards, who serves on the board of Bellewood Presbyterian Homes, shares details here.

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