Monday, December 15, 2008

Take Our Money PLEASE!

Gov. Riley Declares 9% Spending Cut to Public Education

MONTGOMERY -- Gov. Bob Riley, citing the severity of the economic downturn, declared proration today in state education spending and announced a hiring freeze in non-education state agencies.

The revenue shortfall would have caused across-the-board cuts of 12.5 percent. But Riley said he is taking $218 million, or half of the $437 million available in a state rainy day fund, to reduce the cuts to 9 percent.

What's amazing and really very backward is that Alabama has some of the lowest per pupil spending in the nation. According to the most recent data that I can find located at this link Alabama per-pupil education spending Alabama on average spends a little over $8,000 per student. Yet we spend $13,000 to lock up a non-violent citizen for smoking pot.

Instead of making responsible adult cannabis consumers a burden on state tax payers by forcing taxpayers to pay for incarceration why not regulate and tax marijuana like we do with alcohol and tobacco and use the taxes collected to make our education system better? There's a whole base of cannabis consumers in Alabama who would be more than happy to be taxed in exchange for a safe, regulated market.

Not only could we use the money raised in taxes for public education we could also use it for drug prevention education and to fund treatment for those addicted to harder drugs. It would be a superb deal all the way around.



Lord Alberonn I said...

I have always favored a REASONABLE tax on cannabis once it is legalized. I just hope that when cannabis gets legalized, they don't rape us with the taxes like they do with tobacco smokers. Its freakin' nuts how much smokers pay per pack in taxes.

I agree that the revinue would do a lot of good things if the money is wisely spent. However, state and fedral goverments don't always spend wisely.

The Ripley Porch said...

What you notice here is a nifty trick. As the governor cuts the education budget and the trickle finally gets to the local school level....they look at items that they can assess you on fees. For example...they could have a test paper expense fee like $20 per student...which you will pay out of your own pocket. Or a sports fee if your kid is on a team of $40 per year. In the end...the state still gets the money necessary to run the school and all of the costs.

If you have just one kid...its no big deal...but if you have three kids....its going add up real quick on extra fees.

Loretta Nall said...

They have been doing that to us for years Ripley. We have to send $35 work book fees, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, boxes of tissue, red ink pens and copy paper to the schools every year now.