On Thursday night, the Joint Budget Committee made its final cut to balance the 2020-21 budget by turning to K-12 education, and it was the biggest of all: as much as $724 million, although that figure could be reduced down to $577 million in the coming days.

It means the debt to K-12 education — one that lawmakers and governors had pared down from a high of $1.15 billion a decade ago — could be back to where it was. At the $577 million mark, the Budget Stabilization Factor, the term for that debt, could be at $1.149 billion, or just about $1 million less than the peak.

While JBC staff analyst Craig Harper warned last week the JBC could no longer protect K-12 education, the cut was

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