10/11/11 — Pre-K dilemma: Where is money going to come for pre-kindergarten programs?

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Pre-K dilemma: Where is money going to come for pre-kindergarten programs?

The order has been issued: Find $30 million to cover the additional costs required now that Judge Howard Manning has directed state leaders to provide pre-kindergarten classes to every child who qualifies for them in the state.

And while the idea makes sense on the surface -- providing services for children from homes where parents do not provide them with the pre-school work they need, there is a reality that the judge, and others, do not seem to grasp. The money has to come from somewhere.

The problem with state budgets over the past few years is that they do not seem to be based in reality.

Unlike a family situation where you know that if you have X number of dollars, you can spend X number of dollars, governments seem to keep spending and not worrying about what's going to happen when the money runs out.

Well, we are there folks.

There has already been cutting done at the state level -- and there are hundreds of workers without jobs because of it. But the harsh truth is that with revenues falling, North Carolina has to look at where it is putting its money and tighten its belt even further.

If we need $30 million, we have to cut it from somewhere else, or we have to ask voters if they are willing to provide the money through increased tax revenue. There are no other choices.

The lack of personal responsibility in this new world has a cost. When parents do not or cannot do their jobs at home or when families that cannot afford to have children do, someone has to pay.

The sad fact is there just is not enough money to pay all those bills anymore. We have to cut somewhere.

That is a new reality we might have to face sooner rather than later.

Published in Editorials on October 11, 2011 10:44 AM