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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 1:21pm

More Cuts To Schools

Cuts to education are inevitable with the shrinking state budget. That's the word from State School Superintendent Kathy Cox at today's budget hearings.

The state school budget, she says, will go down nearly $480 million for the the rest of this school year.

That means public school teachers will get three more furlough days. Cox says it is a tough reality for the state's schools.

"There isn't a school system out there that isn't going to find this incredibly difficult," Cox says.

She is pushing for a bill that would loosen state requirements like class size and budget mandates for local systems.

"They need to be able to decide: where is our priority based on the data, where do we need to have class sizes of 21, and where can we have class sizes of 27, instead of making everyone have 24."

Cox answered questions from lawmakers for well over an hour. Many were worried about how to explain the cuts to their constituents. Rural lawmakers in particular got few satisfying answers.

Democrats were critical of the cuts saying the state could get more money by going after businesses that don't pay their state sales taxes.