Friday, March 21, 2008

Prime cuts

The always informative Jo Egelhof at FoxPolitics.net has a list of suggested cuts for the state budget, and her readers chime in as well.

How about summer school? Non-essential summer school, that is. Offer classes only to seniors serious about getting their diploma, but missing critical credits.

As long as we’re talking about schools and being controversial, how about the SAGE program that provides for classes with no more than 15 students? Or simply allow a district not to have to offer SAGE everywhere – wouldn’t that make sense?

Ok, we’re on a roll. A reader suggested lowering the QEO – the maximum wage and benefit increases for school districts. Oh my. Heads will roll and the seas will part. But it’s a darn good suggestion and would have a significant impact on state and local budgets moving forward. (**See below.)

How about this? The Tomah Journal Sunday detailed the phasing out of retiree health benefits – for teachers hired for the 2007-08 year and beyond. (Most) any savings at the district level is a savings at the state level. Yeh!

Another reader suggestion: Eliminate the ethanol subsidy of $.20/gallon and the farm tax exemption. I don’t know anything about these programs, but am glad to throw them in.

There are more, but it does show that cuts can be made. It'll just take more willpower than what the legislature on both sides of the aisle have shown so far.