It’s better than nothing, but the math and science education boost that Gov. Gregoire proposed today seems pretty puny for a state that’s a world center for software development.
The spending boost is hardly enough to be trumpeted as a way “to grow our economy and secure a bright future for our students.”
Gregoire’s calling for $197 million in additional spending over two years. That may sound like a lot, but it’s just a 1.4 percent increase in K-12 spending over the same period. It works out to another $98.50 per student per year. Total spending per student would then go from $6,900 to $6,998 per year.
The money would also come from the state’s surplus, so it doesn’t sound like a permanent commitment. If the surplus dwindles, will class sizes get bigger again?
Apparently the gov didn’t take my suggestion to limit R&D tax breaks and give schools some of the $259 million she’s giving back to Microsoft and other companies every two years.
Parents of public school children already pay far more than $98.50 a year out of their pocket to compensate for the state’s weak education funding.
Gregoire’s proposal is a start and it seems to say all the right things about class sizes, curriculum and teachers, but the money’s not enough to start quoting Tom Friedman.