At least education is finally getting some attention

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 12, 2001

An abundance of opinions are circulating these days throughout Alabama concerning Gov. Don Siegelman's education budget.

The crux of the argument is that in order for education to be funded at its greatest capacity, something has got to suffer, and with Siegelman's plan, it will be the big corporations.

And very well it should be.

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Siegelman's plan offers two primary components: close a series of corporate tax loopholes that created a $150 million education shortfall; and implement a minimum tax on large corporations, many of which pay absolutely no taxes.

It seems there are many corporations which are netting millions of dollars and are not paying taxes in Alabama because their central offices are located in some other state.

The biggest concern of those opposed to Siegelman's plan is that there will be job layoffs or even relocations of companies currently located in Alabama.

It's a double-edged sword no matter how you look at it.

But, is it fair for these companies to net millions of dollars and for our children to watch as the doors of their schools close?

Republican Sen. Bill Armistead recently wrote an editorial which laughed slightingly at Siegelman for his bill not getting through the House Ways and Means Committee. But will these politicians still be laughing when their own children have to stay home because the schools are closed?

That is doubtful.

But, on a more positive note, at least the politicians now are taking notice of the importance of educating Alabama's children, and realizing that it takes money to do so.

Many counties are doing what they can to help their schools, such as here in Butler County with the renewal of the ad valorem tax, but counties the size of Butler can only do so much.

At this point, it matters least where the blame lies. Instead of trying to play the blame game on past and present politicians, it is high time that we concentrate on who and how we are going to find money for our schools again.

Gov. Siegelman may not have the perfect solution

most politicians don't. But at least he's working toward a solution which is more than many past governors can be credited with.