Keahey: Education budget ‘unrealistic’

Published 11:15 am Monday, November 30, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

The state education budget passed by the Legislature last spring went into proration even before the fiscal year began — a sign, state Sen. Marc Keahey admitted last week, that lawmakers passed an “unrealistic” budget.
Keahey, D-Grove Hill, who will begin his first regular session as a senator early next year, served in the House with state Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton. Both said they will be looking closely at the budget in the coming session.
The state education budget was prorated — or cut — by 7.5 percent when the fiscal year began Oct. 1.
Keahey said that will be “fresh on everybody’s mind” when lawmakers sit down to budget at the beginning of 2010.
Baker said those projections tend to be optimistic.
That makes lawmakers think twice — and go for the more optimistic projections, Baker said.
Baker said he would like to see lawmakers base their projections on a longer time frame — at least the previous two years, for example.