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Action Alert: Senate Appropriations cuts schools $174 million and guts early childhood programs

*The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to cut state aid to schools by $110 per pupil next year, and also to completely eliminate several state programs to assist early childhood education and school readiness.* "Click here to see our action alert message, and contact your legislators!":http://capwiz.com/miparentsforschools/issues/alert/?alertid=13575281 The cuts were made in the Senate's version of the K-12 School Aid budget bill, "HB 4447":http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2009-HB-4447, as it emerged from the Senate Appropriations Committee. Contrary to expectations, the committee did not use Federal stimulus funds to prevent current cuts to schools. Instead, the committee slashed programs to come up with $410 million in cuts that will not be covered by Federal funds, including the permanent $110 reduction in school districts' per-pupil foundation allowances. Other cuts, including about $110 million in funding for early childhood education and school readiness for at-risk children, simply eliminate entire programs. Committee Chair Sen. Ron Jelinek (R-Three Oaks) said that these cuts would save enough stimulus money to avoid further cuts in 2010-11, assuming things did not get worse. But the committee's figures are based on a substantial, and very unlikely, 3% jump in revenue collections for the state School Aid Fund in fiscal 2011. If these extraordinarily optimistic forcasts do not come to pass, substantial cuts will still be required in FY2011 when the Federal stimulus funds run out. For more information, and an opportunity to write to your state legislators on this issue, "please click here to visit our action alert page":http://capwiz.com/miparentsforschools/issues/alert/?alertid=13575281.
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