In his Dec. 13 Herald column, Jerry Cornfield asserts that “the economy generates billions of extra dollars for the state’s coffers while still not producing enough new revenue for counties to keep up with rising costs.” (“Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state.”)
I agree that we need to produce enough new revenue to keep up with rising costs.
But Cornfield doesn’t factor in that we have more than a million K-12 students preparing to enter tomorrow’s job market.
That we’ve invested billions over the past few years bringing our K-12 investment up to inadequate levels.
That the Legislature just put us on the hook to invest $7 billion more over the next four years.
That both our Legislature since 2007 and our state Supreme Court since 2012 have carefully considered what these million kids need to enter tomorrow’s job market.
That under both our Legislature’s self-imposed deadline and the Court’s constitutional judgment, we are still $1 billion short of adequately investing in our kids’ requirements to compete in our changing world. We are mortgaging our future.
That is our unfunded mandate.