Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday, October 9th - Legislature Passes Budget with $165 per pupil cut!

From MEA VOTES - the online newsletter from the MEA
Late Thursday night, the state House and Senate passed the K-12 budget for 2009-10 with a $165 per pupil cut, a smaller reduction than the initial proposal of $218 per pupil.
The budget also continues to fund several key programs, including early childhood and at-risk programs, but that doesn't mean those programs are off the hook. Lawmakers gave school districts the option of cutting them at the local level and using the money allocated to them somewhere else. And the reality is, the size of the per pupil cuts may make it necessary for local districts to cut some of the very programs that make them most successful.
In a press statement, MEA President Iris K. Salters praised the thousands of public school supporters whose vocal opposition to education cuts prevented the worst from coming to pass. "But the lack of a full investment in public schools is disturbing, especially since the vast majority of our legislators ran for office touting the importance of education to our economic recovery," Salters said.
She called on the Legislature to begin work now on addressing anticipated shortfalls in next year's budget by updating Michigan's antiquated tax structure and implementing tax reforms to stabilize funding for schools.
"It's time to invest in our state. It's time to invest in our schools. MEA is proud to have been part of leading that charge during this budget debate and we're proud to commit today to continuing that fight because of our solemn belief that the key to our economic future is preparing our students for the jobs Michigan needs."