Last week State Sen. Don East gave hope to local school administrators during a breakfast meeting with the Surry County Board of Commissioners and county department heads.
Responding to an outcry which has sprung up over the state practice of funding school systems each year, then forcing schools to give back part of their state funding, East said legislators are looking for ways to eliminate the practice this year.
The practice, known as discretionary reversion, has bedeviled school systems for years, particularly in recent budgets with funding dollars harder to come by, and has left schools at times scrambling to fill funding needs.
East said he and his colleagues, facing a short session of the General Assembly, are searching for funding sources they can find which will eliminate the practice this year, and hopefully looking for longer-term solutions in the next full session in 2013.
It is good to see East responsive to the calls of local school administrators, and we hope he and his colleagues are able to find ways to fully fund the schools, or at the least end the practice of discretionary reversion. At the same time, we hope school administrators remember there is only so much money to go around, and the state government is in a position where it needs to be finding ways to decrease overall spending, and that might mean some continued cuts to education in the state.
That most definitely would not be ideal for the school systems, but at least, if East is successful in getting his colleagues to go along with his plan, the school systems will know what they are dealing with upfront, without waiting for the state to jerk back some of the funding.