Barbara Bunting was challenged in a recent letter with money questions that seem temptingly simple. Barbara is, in fact, honest and forthright enough to be thoughtful, not simplistic. The point of base state aid is to provide a suitable starting point for local school districts to deal with local differences, both in needs and resources. The courts have not “told the state how much to spend.” They have, in effect, told the legislature it cannot ignore its own studies into the question of “suitable funding.”

Meanwhile, the governor and legislators play games with numbers to claim we are “spending more than ever.” They add in and mismatch current spending categories without making the same adjustments to earlier years for meaningful comparison. Restoring or replacing ill-advised cuts in spending or revenue are not “new taxes and spending.” Moving property taxes in a circular way from counties to the state and back again is not “increased state funding.”

I hear Barbara Bunting calling to regain balance in tax diversity. This can help offset major differences in local funding abilities. I trust Barbara to be careful and analytical. She will not toss around arbitrary dollar figures. As the writer suggested, effective education is not simply about money, it comes from effective approaches that the dollars represent and support. Join me in voting for Barbara in the August 5th primary election.

— Steve Richards, Newton