The 2010 legislative session doesn’t start until tomorrow, but already we are receiving reports of intended swapping of funding sources for public education.
State Rep. Rick Glazier said Monday he favors diverting $100 million in lottery money from school construction to classroom teachers in 2011.
Glazier said school boards would have to dip into their reserves to make up for the lost lottery money. About $176 million in lottery proceeds normally would be allocated next year to retire school construction bonds.
Glazier said the funding shift is only feasible for a year. School districts would deplete their reserves if they drew on them year after year.
“This was an attempt to mix and match some funds to stopgap for a year and keep more teachers in the classroom,” Glazier said.
Such one-year, stopgap schemes provide more evidence that North Carolina lawmakers aren’t interested in actual spending reform. No matter how deep a financial hole they dig for themselves, they are simply incapable of exercising any true spending restraint.
By the way, someone should tell Rep. Glazier that North Carolina is going to have to replace almost $3 billion in lost revenue for the 2010-11 budget due to the expiration of the “temporary taxes” and the end of federal stimulus funds. So a stopgap measure may work for this year, but then where will you find the money?