I’m sitting at my desk in Olympia answering email, mostly about the budget. Lots of people are writing in about different subjects, but all have the same theme – protect MY program. This is pretty interesting and useful data, but it’s hard to make decisions based on it.
For example, I get a lot of mail about preserving “gifted education”. The state sends out tens of millions in this category every year, with an equal amount going to every district based on student population. State funding makes up about 15% of what is spent in this area every year, so 85% of the money is coming from local sources, mostly your local levies. The state budget line item is about $30 million per year, or about 0.3% of annual state school budgets. There are many other programs that distribute money the same way – evenly based on student count.
Ever think about why we don’t just combine all of these small items into one single pot?