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School lobby cant get no satisfaction

School supporters ought to be dancing in the streets upon hearing about Gov. Ted Kulongoski's proposed $6.06 billion budget for K-12 education.

To some extent they are. But their happiness isn't without caveats - they've also placed their hats on the sidewalk, looking for even more money.

The governor's school budget for the 2007-09 biennium represents a 13 percent increase over the previous biennium.

Most businesses or institutions would be thrilled with such a revenue boost in this era of low inflation. But when Kulongoski announced his K-12 school funding plan along with the rest of his budget Monday, a coalition of school administrators, unions, school boards and parents responded with a news conference and carefully worded news release that simultaneously praised the governor's budget allocation while also saying it wasn't quite enough.

The coalition is asking for $240 million on top of the 13 percent increase, which makes us wonder if school lobbyists will be satisfied with any budget.

To be fair, educators have specific initiatives in mind, such as universal full-day kindergarten, when they talk of the need for additional funding. And the Legislature certainly might improve upon the governor's budget - as it has in the past.

But the reaction of 'yes, this is good, but not good enough' undermines school advocates' credibility and feeds the misguided notion that the schools' appetite for money is nearly as bottomless as a child's hunger to learn.