I've written a few posts about the budget process and how it impacts education related funding (see here, here, and here to name a few). I've done so because I strongly believe our public schools is one of the most important areas the government can fund in the budget. That is also why I was glad to see that in a speech on the floor of the state Senate, Sen. Edd Houch spoke about how "this is the most critical time for our public schools and its funding anytime in recent history." He continued by also pointing out how the House budget makes the situation even worse and tries "to pit our good public state employees and our good public law enforcement officials against our teachers." That, of course, doesn't help our budget or the moral of the state work force or our teachers and is a prime example of why we must make sure that the Senate priorities are seen in the final budget.
Although they have an uphill battle considering that both the House and the Governor's Mansion are controlled by Republicans, Sen. Houch highlighted how the Senate budget negotiators are fighting hard to make sure that the budget isn't balanced on the back of our children. I've heard this from several other people who are close to the negotiations so there is some hope left for good news. For that hope to turn into reality, however, we need the General Assembly to know that people don't support the House's budget. Sen. Houch has helped to do so by publicly reminding his colleagues what's at stake, but to help make sure the House's priorities don't move any further I strongly encourage everyone to follow Houch's lead by calling their Senators and Delegates and expressing support for the Senate's budget.