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Posted on Wed, May 25, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

Michigan Senate passes $470 per-pupil education funding cut

By Staff

The Michigan Senate passed a $470 per-pupil funding cut for K-12 education, the Detroit News is reporting this afternoon.

The cuts come as Gov. Rick Snyder signs into a law the 2012 budget, which eliminates several tax cuts, taxes pensions and eliminates the Michigan Business Tax.

The education funding bill passed in the Senate by a 21-16 vote. It offers districts some incentives to regain funding through "best practices" and also has a provision for about $100 per pupil to help districts pay for retirement costs, which state officials said could offset the impact to local districts.

Read the full story on the funding vote.


Karyn Bloch

Thu, May 26, 2011 : 6:16 p.m.

I am just wondering why people think it's ok that our Michigan congressmen and women have lifelong health care even when they are no longer in office and that they are the second highest paid state congress yet there are cuts going on to schools. Where is the state government reform in these discussions? There was a recent article that acknowledged this existed but nothing saying it needed to change. Its so frustrating and just plain wrong.


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 5:19 a.m.

They don't there is a link in a prior thread to the handbook for our state Legislature with a list of benefits. But, then facts get in the way of a good rant.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 10:12 p.m.

Hey, tea partiers, you've won me over. Now that I feel alienated from the places my tax money is going (businesses), I will join you in your tax-cutting agenda. I used to like paying taxes because they went to schools, old people, roads, and the sick. No more, so sign me up!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, May 26, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

Once again DonBee offers bogus numbers. --When DonBee talks "all sources" for per pupil funding, he is counting millions of dollars that are not part of the operating budget (e.g., the sinking funds). --When DonBee says the state owes the federal government $4 billion for unemployment insurances, he fails to point out that a) that money has already been spent, so it provides nothing to the poor going forward, and b) there is no money in the state budget to begin paying that money back. Hence, his $4 billion is a misleading red herring in this discussion. Time to heed Mathew 7:15. Good Night and Good Luck


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

New Federal unfunded mandate for Medicaid (medical support for the poor) $700,000,000.00 Repayment owed the Federal Government for unemployment benefits $4,000,000,000.00 Amount given to Ford and GM in reduced taxes $0.00 Amount given to small businesses in reduced taxes $1,800,000,000.00 Total budget per student for AAPS (all sources) $14,000.00 a year. Yes, SMALL business got a tax cut, but the spending for poor, sick and unemployed folks in Michigan continues to grow.


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 3:45 a.m.

You mean you won't participate in the two for one meals offered by restaurants so they can survive and keep folks employed? Or maybe you won't buy the sale items that grocery stores have so they can bring in customers and survive and keep people employed? Or maybe public employees won't accept their paychecks which are funded by small businesses that employ 70% of the working population without fully paid healthcare or defined pension plans? Maybe you can refuse to pay your morgage becdause those evil banks are making a profit while creating jobs and revenue. Or maybe it's just time to understand the economic realities of "public service" and that government doesn't create jobs, businesses create jobs that pay for public employees, that includes teachers.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

I'm disappointed that couldn't even correctly copy the lede from the Detroit News. They've bought into the school districts' deliberate distortion of the true changes in their funding. That $470 mentioned in the first sentence is achieved by combining the emergency mid-year reduction of $170 per pupil from the current school year with the $300 per pupil reduction that was in the legislation signed today. While no one likes to get less money, the hype around school funding being "slashed", when the actual cut from the current funding level is around 3% reminds me of the boy who cried "wolf" once too often.

David Briegel

Wed, May 25, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

"Best Practices" are whatever Slick Rick and his Quarter Million Dollar Men taxpayer paid henchmen decide. Moonmaiden, These are the priorities of the enlightened citizens of our fair state. We prefer the Prison Industrial Complex with NO effort at rehabilitation or reintigration into society to that evil, union dominated education system. Will, To end the Cadillac benefits would require real leadership and negotiation. Not likely! The TeaPublican downward spiraling rush to the bottom. Soon we will be like China. With all this rain I may start a rice paddy.

Richard Lake

Wed, May 25, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

It illustrates well how the Republican Party cares about people. Tax the pensions of our retired. Reduce all education funding. Oh, and use the money saved to cut the taxes of big business. It is why thousands of demonstrators were in Lansing Saturday, May 21st to join the movement to recall Gov. Rick Snyder. Readers may learn more about the recall effort at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Richard Lake Escanaba, Michigan


Sat, May 28, 2011 : 5:17 a.m.

Lets see Richard - $7,500,000,000.00 is paid in pension money each year in Michigan to people from age 50 to age 64. So If I am working, and between 50 and 64, I should pay taxes and someone who has a lifetime pension should get off tax free? Sounds fair to me. How about to you? As to older folks, most of them get to shelter $40,000 from any tax (about the median HOUSEHOLD income in the state) and if they are a married couple $80,000 (which puts them in the top 20% of income in Michigan) - sounds like taxing the poor to me.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

After having worked in the automotive industry for 31 + years I've had the chance to see what &quot;Best Practices&quot; can do. What they did for Ford, Chrysler, and GM was drive suppliers out of business, close plants, move jobs overseas, and add cost to the plants. What they will do for education will be much the same. Already companies are advertising &quot;High School On-line&quot;. The same as going to a public school. Private companies receiving tax dollars (per student State allocation) to sign up. You'll also see the rise in &quot;Charter School&quot; (for profit). Ask yourself, how will the these companies make a profit&quot; By driving down wages and benefits, cutting programs, and a higher teacher/student ratio. &quot;Best Practices&quot; for education amounts to extortion of the teachers, the tax payers, the elected school boards, and our kids. Who wins? Big business, Snyder, and his Republican clones is who.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 6:55 p.m.

Now that funding cuts are in place for schools, pensions are being taxed and public employees are contributing 20% towards health care premiums, not much left to do except end the free lifetime health care benefits and retirement perks for the priviledged legislators and judges in Lansing! Get on it, Mr. Snyder!


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 3:38 a.m.

Will, those costs are drop in the bucket and you sound like a person who refuses to see the big picture which is the economic survival of the state. You're concentrating on one small aspect of the budget and it's coming off as being retaliatory and vengeful instead of thoughtful and respectful. I just don't understand the unwillingness of folks to accept economic reality, especially educators who seem so closed minded and opposed to anything new that doesn't directly benefit themselves. Snyder is doing a fantastic job. A job no one, including educators, had the courage and the brains to do. I will suggest this will be an education in economic reality for many educators.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

It's my understanding that they have just voted not to end their lifetime benefits.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

This is a crime. By the way, we spend in the neighborhood of $30,000 per prisoner in this state and less than a third on students in public schools. Anyone else see a problem here?


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

Moonmaiden - The tax money from all sources that Michigan districts spend on education comes much closer to $15,000 per student than the $7,200 minimum per-pupil grant amount. And as was already mentioned, the schools don't have to feed, house or provide medical care for students, just buildings, computers, books, some transportation, and most important of all, instruction. However, in spite of all that money over 13 or more years, we fail to graduate between 17% and 20% of the students from high school, and the dropped out or flunked out or pushed out people make up a very large proportion of our prison population. So you could consider our prison expenditures the cost of ineffective education.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

We don't feed, house, and provide medical care for students. If you want to keep locking people up for minor drug possession charges, then you have to feed, clothe, and take care of them.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

It would be good to have &quot;best practices&quot; defined to know what is expected to have the opportunity for additional funding. Seems to be a very vague and potentially broad area.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

Grye - The best practices needed to get the money are outlined in the legislation, but just gave us a link to the Detroit Free Press story, which didn't summarize the beast practices in the bill either. I believe a district has to 1)consolidate at least one non-classroom service area with one or more other districts, 2) get bids to privatize one service they are spending $60k or more on and 3) pay for not more than 80% of health insurance costs in all new employment contracts signed from this year onwards.

zip the cat

Wed, May 25, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

Keep up the good work rick. I am sure to get tons of bad vibes from this post, but who cares. I just love all those whiners and complainers

Rosie Lemons

Wed, May 25, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

I would guess that you have no kids in the public school system zippy