Are we really better off in the state this year?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 8, 2005

Finally after five years, things appear to be looking up for the state’s Education Trust Fund.

Tax collections are up, and a teacher pay raise is almost certainly on the horizon.

This is all good news to the public school children of Alabama, but who knows how long it will last.

Don’t think for a moment just because preliminary budget projections look much better than the past few years that the state has found a solution to it’s funding crisis.

First, even though the Education Trust Fund is in good shape for the next fiscal year doesn’t mean the general fund is.

The general fund provides for basically every state service except education, which includes public safety, Medicaid and much, much more.

These services are essential to the day-to-day operation of this state and the quality of life we live, but judging budget projections, they are almost all going to suffer some sort of cuts.

As for the Education Trust Fund, it looks good now, and it may look good for the next several years. However, if the past is any indication of what the future will bring, more education budget cuts are coming down the road.

Our school children and our safety can’t rely on the rising and falling economy.

Now is the time, while at least parts of the budget are in good shape, to find a lasting solution.

The legislature will meet in regular session starting in February. Hopefully, there will be some thought in to how we can finally solve the budget woes of the Alabama.