Schools deserve surplus

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Gov. Bob Riley is proposing a one-time shot in the arm to benefit schools in Alabama. Since the failure of a property tax increase in Shelby County to carry out a five-year capital improvement plan, the county has struggled to keep up with the ever-increasing population of Shelby County Schools.

The latest school under construction, Chelsea Park Elementary &8212; at a cost of $14 million &8212; is being constructed with leveraged funds coming to the county from the state.

The governor&8217;s proposal, which was slated to be announced during Tuesday night&8217;s State of the State address, would provide $7.7 million to Shelby County.

School Superinten-dent Evan Major said that money would help the county provide additions in areas where there are now portable classrooms.

He sees this as a good thing for Shelby County and so do we.

According to media reports there is a $1 billion balance in the education budget while the General Fund has a $412 million balance.

If this money can be used to help schools in our state keep up with growth without threatening future needs, then we see this as money well spent.

The governor&8217;s plans call for $250 million to be divided among K-12 systems. The other $250 million would be divided among two-year colleges, four-year universities and K-12 school damaged by natural disasters and school systems wanting to consolidate schools and other needs