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Education Advocates Urge Michigan to Reinvest in Schools

January 27, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - After a year that saw nearly $1 billion in cuts to public schools, many education leaders had high hopes for better things to come in 2012. But Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, says the current agenda in Lansing, as laid out in Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State address, offers more of the same.

Cook says it's time for lawmakers to stop paying lip service to the idea of making education a priority.

"The data and the research were ignored, and every bill, policy, and program were dictated by politics."

Michigan is projected to have a budget surplus of $457 million for fiscal year 2012, and education leaders are calling on the governor to put some of that money back into public schools.

Cook warns that a lack of equitable, stable funding for education will come back to haunt Michigan and any economic progress the state is beginning to make. He says Snyder shouldn't be surprised that so many districts across the state are struggling.

"Education funding is cut by $1 billion, and he's not sure why there are so many districts in financial difficulty? You don't need an emergency financial manager to figure that out."

Snyder is scheduled to unveil his full budget proposal Feb. 9.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI