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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

December 11, 2006 at 11:51 AM

Gregoire: A tiny fraction more for K-12 math and science

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.

Comments | More in | Topics: Education, Public policy

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