Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Fundieland" Over Education in Kentucky

As much as it disappoints me when state legislators cut funding for education, this one qualifies as unrestrained idiocy and outright madness.  Last Friday, Governor Steve Beshear (D) of the state of Kentucky proposed his 2012-2013 budget.  In it, Gov. Beshear proposes $286 million in cuts that include a 6.4 percent cut to higher education.  If you think that's bad, believe me, it gets worse.

This budget proposal does not directly cut funding to the K-12 public schools.  What it also doesn't do is consider population growth as a factor when funding the state's K-12 education.  This means that Kentucky's public education system will have less money to spend per student.  Amazingly, Gov. Beshear wears this like a badge.

Of course, he doesn't mention that he has added $11 million to build highways around the "ark park".  But this is about education, so let's not lose focus.

I suppose I could give him some credit, since he admits that the budget is, "inadequate for the needs" of the state's people.  But this understatement is almost as big as the silly Ark (500ft x 75ft) in the Christian amusement park that this state is trying to build, so I don't think he deserves any credit after all.

Instead, I think Gov. Beshear may be hoping for one of two things: 1) that we don't remember his $43 million dollar tax break for the "ark park" back in May of 2011; or 2) that he can hide behind the false assertion that his budget proposal is maintaining the funding for public education.

Regarding Gov. Beshear's first hope, many people are still waiting to see if Answers in Genesis actually breaks ground on this amusement park since it's been delayed at least four times now.  And to his second hope, Gov. Beshear's low population growth estimates result in a cut of more than $50 million to that funding formula.

Nice try, Stevie.

The situation here is simple, Gov. Beshear is proposing funding cuts to public education while maintaining tax breaks for a fundamentalist Christian amusement park.  In other words, AiG will continue to receive incentives from the state to build their "Fundieland", all at the expense of Kentucky's public education.

I've tried to rationalize what it is that these people are thinking, and there's really only one conclusion I can draw from this situation.  After diverting all this money and state resources to Fundieland, the state of Kentucky was forced to cut funding for public education - especially higher education.  Think about it... Anyone with greater than a 6th grade education would laugh uncontrollably at the idea of a global flood, and then lose all bladder control at the idea of building an amusement park based on a guy that saved every air-breathing animal on the planet by building a wooden boat.

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