Give the state Board of Education credit for being bold when it comes to asking for money. The board has voted to ask the Legislature for a 6.7 percent increase in spending next year. That would add $173 million to the current year’s spending of more than $2.5 billion.
It wants $47 million for a 3 percent pay raise for teachers, $10 million to continue redesigning high school curricula, featuring new courses, equipment, teacher training and “career pathways” for students in grades 10-12 and $36 million to restore money for teacher supplies and school supplies.
It never hurts for the Board of Education to ask for more money. But the real question is whether the state will be able to afford such a large increase when tax revenues are uncertain.
Think back to a couple of months ago, when the Legislature went into triple-overtime before approving the state budget, literally minutes before the new fiscal year arrived on July 1.