Funding should pass now

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Committed teachers across Shelby County make the early morning treks into work to push students to excel.

We&8217;ve all seen the proof of their dedication. Thousands of students threw caps into the air as graduates, while two schools in the county captured national acclaim for their instruction last week. Spain Park and Oak Mountain High Schools received recognition for the number of students passing advanced placement courses. That shows a desire to succeed.

It&8217;s too bad some of our legislators don&8217;t possess that same drive. The futures of these teachers and students hang by a weak thread this week waiting for leaders in the state&8217;s capital to finally make decisions about the education budget.

Education leaders anticipate any decision made to be detrimental to one set of students either way. What&8217;s at stake &8212; higher education or K-12 funding.

An education budget senators failed to pass by one vote leaves a sinking feeling in the stomachs of Superintendent Randy Fuller and university presidents like Philip Williams of the University of Montevallo.

One way or the other, someone expects to lose. Montevallo already rose tuition this year to cover the possible loss of $2.5 million from the state, while Fuller and his administration began to trim department budgets and limit approval of field trips for next school year.

Neither wants the possible cuts from the Education Trust Fund to affect instruction. And when you have students rising to the occasion, it&8217;s easy to see why.

The problem is there isn&8217;t enough money to cover what everyone needs. This is where legislators are put to the test to make tough choices. Community leaders expect the students in our schools not to fail. Why can&8217;t the students expect the community&8217;s leaders not to fail them either? It&8217;s time for legislators to rise to the occasion by passing an education budget and giving these administrators answers that will allow them to prepare for another year of instruction and success.