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Action alert: backroom budget negotiations

Take Action. Now!
Budgets will be emerging from the smoke-filled rooms soon
Now that the state budget process is in its final stages, a final School Aid budget is only days away. There will be very little time to discuss it once it's made public, so it's important for parents to weigh in now.

Contact your state lawmakers today!

While we don't know what the proposal will look like, we do have the different versions proposed by the Governor and passed by the House and Senate. What we find there does not make us very optimistic.
  • Virtually all the Governor's advertised "$150 million" increase in student funding comes from money that will be left over from this year because there were fewer students than expected. This is true of the other versions, also.
  • Under the Senate and House plans, charter schools receive significantly larger increases, on average, than local school districts. In fact, the Senate plan would give charters almost $100 per pupil more on average.
  • Under the Senate plan, 340,000 students, including 110,000 living in poverty, would get the lowest possible increases in funding.
  • Most districts would fail to keep up with inflation under any of these plans. The Senate plan is again the most extreme: over half a million students (almost half of them living in poverty) would not have their funding keep up with inflation.
To top it all off, predictions for revenues next year are lower than they were when these plans were written. That can't be good news.

For more information on the plans, see our article "School aid budget in pictures"
To read our presentation to the State Board of Education about school funding needs generally, go here.

What's a better idea? How about:
  • shifting programs, including higher ed, that have been pushed into the School Aid Fund back to the state's General Fund budget, leaving school aid revenues for K-12 schools as intended?
  • taking pressure off education spending by finding a separate way to pay for the state school pension system? Everyone benefited from our schools - why should current students and employees bear the costs alone?
  • fully funding existing programs for at-risk students and special education so that we can meet the needs of all students instead of just moving money around?

Now that would be a budget proposal parents can get behind. Tell your lawmakers what you'd like to see in the school aid budget.

Contact them today!

Steve Norton
Michigan Parents for Schools
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