People can ease proration

Published 10:12 pm Monday, January 12, 2009

It is disappointing to hear that Alabama will have to cut more from essential services in the coming years.

State officials are doing this because they have to, not because they want to.

An announcement from the Legislative Fiscal Office on Monday revealed this year’s $6.3 billion education budget will shrink by more than $700 million in the next two years.

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In addition, the General Fund will dwindle from $2 billion to $1.4 billion in that same time span.

The highest expense is people. Fewer teachers and government employees mean more money on the books.

Some change in the way education is funded, although not a cure-all, would be a start. The state’s reliance on income and sales taxes is a dangerous wire to walk, especially with businesses leaving cities all over Alabama, unemployment rising and people tightening the purse strings.

A magic wand would also be nice, but either way, many students will suffer in the near future because Alabama has to trim the fat.

The ship is not totally sunk, but it needs more hands. This puts the pressure on parents to begin their children’s education before they reach schools by encouraging reading, the foundation for a successful life. Churches in the community could also help through holding tutoring sessions, using members as volunteers.

It also means more communication between educators and parents is necessary to reinforce lessons and aid in retention.

It takes a village to raise and educate our children.

This state is in a woeful situation, but its people still have the power to keep its greatest resources afloat.