Will the school aid fund suffer another legislative sleight-of-hand in favor of road repairs?
So the Michigan Senate has decided to divert $135 million from the sales tax on gasoline and use it for road repairs. Two percentage points of the six percent sales tax is dedicated to the School Aid Fund and we’re told this bill doesn’t change that -- the entire $135 million will be taken from the state’s General Fund.
Or is this the old shell game again? Last year, our Lansing leaders made up for shortfalls in the state’s General Fund by raiding the School Aid Fund (which voters thought they had firmly established to fund K-12 education by approving Proposal A in 1994), diverting School Aid Fund dollars to universities and community colleges for the first time. Last year’s raid on the School Aid Fund, therefore, replaced General Fund dollars, which had always been the source of higher education funding.
Is this more of the same? Will the School Aid Fund take another loss this year to make up for this $135 million hit to the General Fund? Instead of facing the fact that we need some additional revenue for roads, revenue sharing, education and other important priorities, are our leaders continuing to dazzle us with their sleight-of-hand, thinking we are blind to the facts?