Saturday, July 15, 2006

Cox: Fund Schools for Excellence

There are now counties in Georgia who simply do not have the necessary tax-base to fund their public schools, and when state and federal mandates, that are largely unfunded, are heaped atop their already strained budgets, they face a situation without an easy resolution.

A number of Georgia counties have sued the state over the current funding formula, an illustration of the crisis in funding we face. Mark Taylor's solution is to give schools more money, but he is not clear about where that money would come from. Unless schools are to become a :"capitalist enterprise" as Bill Bolten proposes or get rich from ads on the sides of school buses as Carlotta Harrell proposes, then we have to be open to discussion of new ideas.

Cathy Cox is open to that discussion, and Mark Taylor is not. Today, in the debate, he accused her of wanting to fund schools with sales tax dollars rather than property tax dollars. That is not what she proposes. I have heard her talk about this several times, and the goal is to look for a combination of funding for schools that is both stable and provides enough money to reach for excellence rather than mediocrity in our schools. She is open to the idea of re-vamping how we fund our schools, not to take money from our schools, but instead to provide more. Taylor criticizes her for being open to this discussion and with his words twists her position. What's his Big Idea? More of the same?


Button Gwinnett said...

There are 51 school systems that I refer to as the "rural 51." It's something I always mention when discussing education under Perdue. Of course, his response has been to cut education funding further and heap more unfunded mandates on everyone, including those systems already underfunded.

Now the state has hired some attack dog lawyers to make the rural 51 back down. This is going to be an opening for us to hit on in the fall.

Lyman Hall said...

Raising sales taxes to pay for schools is regressive. Do you understand if you raise the sales tax across the board it falls heavier on working families? Basic goods and services would be more expensive. Instead of a graduated tax like an income tax, sales taxes hurt working families. That's why some folks are even against the local SPLOSTs.

Republicans understand this. That's why their big idea is the Fair Tax. Fair Tax will shift the tax burden from the wealthy to working families. I can't believe CC doesn't understand this.

I liked when she called PeackKids a big government program in the debate. Sounded like a Republican. We need a Big Guy who isn't afraid of big ideas to help working Georgians. In that one quote, CC showed what kind of governor she would be: one too afraid to push big ideas. No wonder she voted against the lottery. Too big an idea at the time.

Lyman Hall said...

I think this quote from the AJC's debate coverage sums up voters' opinion on the entire Cox rationale for running:

"Cox: The new face with new answers or, at least the new face who doesn't look like Taylor and Gov. Sonny Perdue. "

Everyone knows she's just another good ole boy. We always knew this message wouldn't be enough to unseat Sonny in the fall. On Tuesday, we'll know it wasn't enough for Democratic primary voters either.