Bob McDonnell Slashes Education, Programs For State's Poorest and Most Vulnerable Residents

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It took a few weeks, but Pat Roberton's Manchurian Candidate Governor has now shown his true colors once and for all. And they're not pretty.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's budget-cutting strategy ranges from deep cuts in base funding for public schools to state worker furloughs and eliminating programs to aid the homeless, according to confidential legislative working papers.


The document shows that McDonnell wants to cut $730 million in state support to local schools from kindergarten through high school.

The largest bite comes from resetting the funding base to that used in fiscal year 2006, a two-year reduction totaling $225 million. Other cuts to education include $130 million from removing state salary supplements for sports coaches and department chairs, nearly $92 million from eliminating initiatives such as Mentor Teacher and school breakfast programs and nearly $20 million in savings from extending the work lives of school buses.


The new Republican governor, just one month in office, also recommends nearly $300 million in cuts to Health and Human Resources programs, the legislative summary says. Some of those programs are a lifeline to the state's poorest residents.
Of course, all of this was pretty much inevitable, given two things: 1) McDonnell's absolute unwillingness to raise taxes (even the estate tax on super-rich Virginia families); and 2) his rigid adherence to heartless (and disastrous) supply-side, trickle-down, Bush-o-nomics policies that favor the rich and powerful over the poor and middle class. Now, can we all stop the nonsense about how Bob McDonnell is really a "moderate" who we can "work with," blah blah blah? He's not, and we can't. End of story.

UPDATE: Elaine in Roanoke has an excellent analysis of this, appropriately entitled "Vicious Budget Cuts, Cowardly Governor." So true.

Also, someone left a comment on my Facebook page which read, in part, "it looks like the Commonwealth is returning to some very dark's embarrassing to watch the Warner-Kaine years go up in smoke so quickly." I couldn't agree more.

UPDATE #2: The Washington Post reports, "McDonnell is proposing deep cuts to core services in K-12 education and health and human services." Here are all the cuts. Not good, not good at all.