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Monday, June 1, 2009

Education first: A harmful principle

The Union Leader editorializes about budget priorities, and how mandated education spending prevents the Legislature from setting them:
The decision to hold education aid harmless from economic downturns has serious consequences. Because the state cannot reduce its adequate education aid to local school districts (including wealthy ones that don't need the money), it has to make reductions elsewhere.

The state is cutting millions in non-education aid to towns and cities, which they use to pay for all manner of programs and services. The state is shutting four district courts and probably will close the Tobey School for troubled youth. And the Senate Finance Committee's budget proposal would slash catastrophic aid to children with special needs by $20 million.

Education is important. But so is justice. So are police and fire protection.

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