Friday, January 30, 2009

Cuts to State Budget

I know this will probably come across as mean spirited, like my mortgage post of yesteryear. But this needs to be said.

I am thrilled that the state legislature is making serious budget cuts to eliminate deficit spending. This is how budgets work. You take your income and balance your expenditures against that. If something is too expensive, you cut it down. If road improvements are more important than, for example, emergency dental welfare, then you make it fit into your budget. I think the tough decisions the state legislature is making is EXACTLY what this state needs.

Janet Napolitano did us no favors by incorporating all these programs. And yes, I do include all-day kindergarten in that mix. It has not boosted the scores of our children. They are not reading any better than the children were eight years ago; science and math scores have not improved. Truly, all-day kindergarten is simply a way for the state to have more influence over our children. It was sold to us as a way to get our children to a higher learning level, and yet it has not succeeded. Should we keep funding it?

Let me ask you, if you had a pay cut where would make budget cuts? Wouldn't it be in the areas which are least productive and most draining? Certainly!

"But," you say, "what about all those families who can't afford after school programs?" I don't know. What did people do when all-day kindergarten didn't exist? I'm sure they did something.

The danger with social programs is that once a person gets used to it, they are less inclined to do without it. Add that to the entitlement factor (my kids deserve all-day kindergarten!), and you have a real mess when the economy take a nose-dive.

The reality is that everyone has less money. Period. People don't seem to realize that this economic downturn has consequence for everyone. How can we expect our children to learn lessons about personal responsibility and consequences if we ourselves are unwilling to accept the reality of this worldwide economic crisis?

We have an opportunity here to learn how to do with less. God has not promised us economic security. He has promised that we who belong to Him will not be forsaken. As in the words of James, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Now, that's a program I'll get behind.


chandy said...

I'm pleased with the budget cuts for sure. I imagine, though, that the people who can't afford after-school care when all-day kindergarten is cut will simply apply for DES-funded childcare, right? Besides, even with full-day kindergarten, most working parents still need to pay for before and after school care. A work day is longer than a school day. I don't think it will be that drastic of a difference for most people.

Jessie said...

Right, that's what I was thinking.

And I just had another thought. Isn't the rise to Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCA's a direct correlation to the need for activities for children after school and who have working parents? Isn't that when they were most popular?

I'm suggesting that this economic downturn has profound opportunities for us as Christians to open our homes, our hearts and our time (for those of us with it) to those who have no where to go after school. Let's watch with expectancy with what God can do!

Karen said...

The federal govt needs to take a lesson from AZ. Mayor Bloomberg of NYC also needs a little reality check & I don't even want to talk about what's happening in California!

The Maid said...

I am all for eliminating kindergarten all together! All day kindergarten was too long a day for my daughter...she survived it, but was so exhausted.

Half day kindergarten was a waste of everyone's time. It was like a school-funded field trip everyday.

Get on the bus, attend 2.5 hours of school, and ride the bus home.

Seriously, by the time they took attendance and sang the alphabet song...maybe they got to do a craft or read a book, and then there they were lining up for the bus at 20 minutes til time to leave.

What was the point?

For about $5.00 everyone can buy a comprehensive book from Sam's club that is the entire "fun" curriculum for kindergarten.
Shapes, numbers, and alphabet.

Dude...I should be governor. LOL

Except that I just said dude...and I'm sure that governors aren't allowed to say dude. LOL

I think that our state is in debt because of the stupid light rail system that is absolutely useless to most of the population of the valley.

Anyhoo...I am with you..let's balance the budget and not bow to the universities and school systems that are draining it.

(PS - Step two of budget balancing: get rid of the ridiculous amounts of scholarships that you give to students to in-state universities just for having good grades. Seriously, that privilege should be reserved for the elite at each school...not the top 25% that seem to be getting it now. Kids who invest their own money and time (through workstudy or other means) in their education finish sooner and take it more seriously anyway!)

The Maid

chandy said...

Your comment is spot-on Jes. Our society has been trained like sheep to expect to be taken care of by the government instead of operating on a smaller scale neighborhood co-op type system. It is definitely the duty of Christians to be reaching out to their neighbors so people won't be so scared that they'll waste away without their precious government subsidies.

I would also support Becky's suggestion of limiting college scholarships to the elite instead of handing them out with a quarter of the HS diplomas. And if someone is looking for a way to attend college for FREE they don't have to look far. It's called the GI Bill. Serve your country in the military.