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Proposed Budget Cuts May Hit Schools Harder than First Projected



April 14, 2011

LANSING, Mich. - A new budget calculation shows Michigan's K-12 students could be much harder hit by Gov. Snyder's proposed budget than originally thought. The state House Fiscal Agency analysis adds up dollar values for all of the programs and funding sources that schools are slated to lose.

Snyder estimates the per-student cut as a minimum of $470, but Doug Pratt, Michigan Education Association director or of public affairs, says more than 150 districts will see cuts of $500 or more, and dozens could lose more than $1,000 per student when they are forced to end programs.

"These are important programs like dropout prevention, rural school grants and declining-enrollment funding. Lots of programs are being slashed through Snyder's budget cuts - more than just $470 per student."

Pratt says politicians did not campaign on a platform to cut school funding, and he says voters will not forget that the legislature put corporate growth before educating Michigan's future workforce.

"We've been cutting taxes for years, and it hasn't created a boom of new jobs. We need to train our students today for the jobs we need to create a workforce that will bring jobs to this state. That's what's going to help our economy recover, not more tax cuts for already-wealthy corporations and CEOs."

In addition to losing state funding, Michigan schools will not receive the supplemental federal funding that has helped offset cuts over the last couple of years. Pratt estimates that more than 350,000 rural, suburban and urban students attend schools facing cuts of at least $500 per student.

The governor's budget proposal is intended to close a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Amy Miller/Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MI
 

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