Democrats want constitutional amendment to protect school money

Sep 19, 2011

Democrats in the state House say voters should be allowed to decide how the state spends its education dollars.

They’re calling for a constitutional amendment that would specify that School Aid Fund money be spent only on K-12 schools, and not on universities and community colleges.

Democratic state Representative Barb Byrum says Republicans have proposed diverting $900 million from K-12 schools for the fiscal year that starts in October.

“I think if the governor and the Legislature fail to see the Check Engine light that’s on this dashboard, I think parents are going to have to take it upon themselves to organize and make sure that we’re investing in our education and in our future.”

Byrum says she thinks parents would be eager to organize a campaign to get a ballot question before voters. Republican lawmakers say schools have taken a less drastic cut in the budget than most areas of government, which demonstrates the state’s commitment to education.