The school advocates who rightfully point to the state’s inadequate funding of education want the legislature to adopt Assembly Joint Resolution 35 or the identical Senate Joint Resolution 27. The resolutions call for the following:
1. Funding levels based on the actual cost of what is needed to provide children with a sound education and to operate effective schools and classrooms rather than based on arbitrary per pupil spending levels;
2. State resources sufficient to satisfy state and federal mandates and to prepare all children, regardless of their circumstances, for citizenship and for post−secondary education, employment, or service to their country;
3. Additional resources and flexibility sufficient to meet special circumstances, including student circumstances such as non−English speaking students and students from low−income households, and district circumstances such as large geographic size, low population density, low family income, and significant changes in enrollment;
4. A combination of state funds and a reduced level of local property taxes, derived and distributed in a manner that treats all taxpayers equitably regardless of local property wealth and income . . .
I dug around briefly in various Web sites (WAES and IWF) on these or similar recommendations, and I cannot find a fiscal estimate of whether or how much these changes might increase state aids, how any increase might be funded, and whether property taxes for education would fall. Does anyone have some figures?
If better funding requires the state to raise more money, the legislature should look at the falling proportion of state tax collections from the corporate income tax, raise the corporate income tax to a generate a fairer proportion of state revenue, and put the money into education.