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Posted on Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 8 a.m.

Will the school aid fund suffer another legislative sleight-of-hand in favor of road repairs?

By Letters to the Editor

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?

Michael Emlaw
Ann Arbor


Lloyd Payer

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

who thank for a minute they are going to fix the roads it is just more money for there pockets


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

The only legitimate use for gasoline tax is road and bridge repairs. Why is it being used for schools in the first place?

Ron Granger

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Is this the same school aid fund that fuels the MILLIONS Ann Arbor schools spend every year on after school sports like Bowling? When Ann Arbor schools won't reveal the details of their after school sport spending, I lose a lot of interest in the "plight" of their funding.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Craig: The state legislature is considering a bill that will raise $1 billion for road repairs by raising the tax on gasoline and by automobile registration fees.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

'It would be to bad if opionion peaces were based on at least some facts, not just ment to fire up the we love taxes for our schools crowd.' Apparently we need to spend a LOT more to educate people in Michigan...'peaces' (pieces), 'ment' (meant) ?

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Hard to go to school if you can't get there on the broken roads.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Craig, fixing roads and supporting education would both be high on my list of what I would like my taxes to go for. I think they both represent good examples of why taxes are needed to begin with. So, I wouldn't mind an increase, except for the funny feeling I have that Snyder could end up raiding the cupboard again.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

"Does it have to be either/or?' fair question. How much more in, say, state income tax would you be willing to pay?


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Does it have to be either/or?


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

It would be to bad if opionion peaces were based on at least some facts, not just ment to fire up the we love taxes for our schools crowd. You may want to read the Detroit News article on the what the bill does.$135M-for-roads


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

sh1: I will do it for you: "too," "opinion," "pieces," and "meant." I doubt that all of the spelling errors were simply typographical mistakes. The first sentence would state the author's intent if it were changed to read: "It would be better if this opinion piece were based on facts and not just on emotion directed towards exciting the "we love taxes for our schools" crowd." I believe that


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:06 p.m. pen...


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

@sh1 -- I wouldn't be surprised....the legislature has passed 500+ pieces of legislation, many with immediate effect, with a supposed 2/3 majority and yet doesn't take a vote count to prove the 2/3 majority.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

sellers: This documentation should satisfy you:


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

Do you have any references to indicate 2/3 was claimed w/o a vote?


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

It seems that the plan is to purposely bankrupt school districts so they can send in an emergency manager to void all contracts and cut everyone's pay and benefits, nullifying the process of collective bargaining.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

... and make a case for replacing public schools with charter schools. You do not need a nuclear engineering degree to understand that by spending less money on the education process, charter school executives can donate more of their profits to favorable legislators' campaigns and to supportive PACs.