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Did you know.....?

That over $377 million will be cut from this year's state school aid budget automatically unless the Governor and Legislature find new funds? Or that every school district in the state faces these cuts of over $215 per pupil? That local school districts in Michigan are not allowed to raise new funds to run our schools - we can only cut our budgets? That this would be the third time in five years that the state has had to take back money in the middle of the year because revenues for education were less than expected? Welcome to school funding in Michigan. Since 1994, control of the amount of money available to run schools has been taken out of the hands of local districts and determined by the State Legislature. But even more importantly, those changes shifted school funding away from using stable sources of revenue like property taxes and onto the sales tax, various "sin taxes," and the state lottery. This worked passably well when the economy was growing, but since Michigan's economy began to slow, revenue from the sales tax and similar taxes began to shrink rapidly. This year, the revenue shortfall has left a $377 million hole in the state's School Aid Fund, which provides the bulk of revenue for local school spending. Join us in urging our lawmakers to fix the problem in stead of doing nothing or providing band-aids! To learn more about how school funding works in Michigan, we've collected several stories and links that help explain the system and how it got to look the way it does. Check out the rest of our site to find out more about what's happening with school funding today and how we can all make our voices heard.
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