OEA President Calls for Legislature to Tap Rainy Day Fund
Monday, March 7, 2016
With public schools of all sizes looking at four-day weeks and cutting staff, cutting programs for students, and increasing class sizes by initiating reductions in force (RIF) policies, today OEA President Alicia Priest called on the legislature to use the state’s Rainy Day Fund to stop budgets from drowning in red ink.
“Our schools are facing catastrophic cuts to their budgets and are having to make decisions based on their finances instead of being able to do what they know is best for kids. These cuts are cheating our children out of receiving a quality education,” said Priest. “Three-eighths of the State’s Rainy Day Fund is dedicated to revenue failure. Our children can’t wait. We must tap the fund now.”
With last week’s announcement of another revenue failure, all state agencies will be cut 7 percent, including public education. Yet, the Governor and some legislative leaders want to wait before dipping into the Rainy Day Fund. The downturn in oil and gas shows no sign of turning around and so far this session the legislature has done nothing to find additional revenue through cutting corporate tax incentives.
“If state revenue is compared to a spring thunderstorm then we’re facing torrential rain with flash flooding and softball sized hail. This is why the Rainy Day Fund was created – to fight the flood waters of shrinking revenue in dire times,” Priest said. “Let’s use the fund for its intended purpose and help our public schools finish this year as strongly as possible.”
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