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Posted on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Saline Area Schools faces a deficit near $6 million for upcoming school year, superintendent says

By Kyle Feldscher

Saline Area Schools is projecting a deficit of just less than $6 million for the 2011-2012 school year, according to superintendent Scot Graden.

Graden said the district has recently started figuring out its budget for next year and is taking into account Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed cuts to education.

Graden said the district is anticipating receiving $3.75 million less from the state this year due to the proposed $300 per pupil cut in state funding, on top of a $170 per pupil cut from last year that will not be restored, and an increase in retirement costs amounting to about $230 per pupil.

“We’re early in the process,” Graden said. “We’re focused on working through the budget … and keeping an eye on what’s going on in Lansing.”

Graden sent an email to staff and community members early Thursday morning, informing them of the budget shortfall and where the district stands right now.

Graden said the district is facing a $5.9 million budget shortfall, assuming the special-education millage renewal passes May 3. If that millage renewal fails, the deficit will grow approximately another $1 million, he said.

He said the district was anticipating facing a deficit — what Graden called “roll-up costs” that were regular, anticipated increases — between $1.2 million and $1.5 million before Snyder’s budget was released, making the deficit larger than normal.

“It is to a certain extent because of the severity of cuts from the state,” Graden said. “The roll-up cost is similar.”

During last year’s budget process, the district closed school buildings, including Houghton Elementary School, and used other measures to balance last year’s budget that are not available this time around, Graden said.

In the email, Graden said Saline schools have cut $6.8 million in expenses over the last three years and reduced support services budgets by more than 20 percent. In addition, Graden said, retirement costs to local districts have been increased by the state of Michigan by 44 percent in the last two years.

He said district officials are currently making up a list of potential cuts to balance the budget and will be looking to schedule community forums after spring break ends in mid-April.

“There are some difficult choices the community is going to have to make and we want to make sure their voice is heard,” Graden said.

Kyle Feldscher covers K-12 education for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Jim Kress

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

Saline Superintendent Scot Graden told that his district had cut $6.8 million in expenses over the last three years. But Saline's general fund expenses climbed from $51.2 million in 2008-09 to a budgeted $51.8 million for 2010-11. The information was available on the district's website, located in their annual audits. Graden didn't respond to an email seeking comment.

DB Holden

Sun, Mar 27, 2011 : 5 p.m.

It now time for Mr. Heim and the SEA to come to the table in good faith. With 80% of the budget wrapped up in salaries and benefits it is time for hard choices. Program elimination should come last as that impacts students directly. Let's hope that Mr. Heim will not sacrifice the young teachers who bring energy, current skills, and connection with students to the classroom. We need to maintain that diversity within the faculty. It is his choice and we are watching closely.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

Wow! And this school district is supposed to be teaching our kids math? If the adults in the district cannot keep their finances straight, how do they expect the kids to learn to do it? Another solution: Why not look into virtual schooling...they have great results (see alll the new research from SRI---"virtual beats face to face")and save the districts lots of money on salaries, benefits and materials.

Jeff Gaynor

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

From the SRI website: "The question facing educators and policymakers is: how can we use technology to enhance the quality of learning for all children? SRI's Center for Technology in Learning addresses this question by ... enhancing online communities of learners, and offering strategic learning consulting services." Might be a bit biased.

Hot Sam

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

Perhaps it's time to get back the billions and billions of dollars we waste in Washington in the name of education. This would go a long way toward paying our teachers...


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

To Jimmie, I have the solution. Bring in more school of choice students. Say 1,000 or how about 2,000. This should take care of deficit. Where to place them no problem build more schools at district taxpayer expense.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

4 month off?! I wish! I am a teacher and I don't know how you come up with that. I spent 2 weeks in June after students are out packing up my room. I spent a week in July at the National Reading Convention and another week in inservice training. I went into school beginning August 1st to get my classroom set up for the year (the district gives us one afternoon for classroom preparation). Days in the summer that I wasn't at conventions or in-services I spent days making lesson plans, reorganizing manuals, preparing things for the classroom. These are things I don't have time to do once the school year begins. I go into school EVERY Sunday to work in my classroom to be prepared for the week. How about subtracting those days from my summer vacation. Every teacher I know also goes in to school to work during holiday breaks (or they've taken a giant bag to do work at home). I put in a 10 - 11 hour day at school and then many evening come home to type up newsletters, weekly calendars, grade and record papers etc., etc. In addition to long hours, I spent $5,000 out of my own pocket to purchase classroom supplies and materials. The district gives us $200 for supplies, which covers a fraction of what we purchase. Our district has no money for reading, math, writing, science or social studies workbooks. Therefore, I have to make my own materials in order to teach every subject. It is very time consuming to make your own math program. I am fortunate that I already have my master's degree plus 18 hours post masters, otherwise I would also have to be taking classing in the summer and on weekends. I love teaching but would not recommend this field to any one. It can be very rewarding when you take a non-reader and turn them into readers. However, the teaching bashing is hard to take.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

"Despite reporting over $5 billion in profits from its domestic operations, the American multinational conglomerate General Electric – headquartered in Fairfield, CT – paid nothing in income taxes. "In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion." Yeah! What we really need is to make old people pay more taxes and make sure those damned teacher get their pay and benefits cut so we can balance our budget along with giving tax breaks to business. Anybody who supports this is an absolute idiot.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

The voters have spoken time and time again. Their pockets are empty yet the unions demand more and play the "poor kids will be hurt" card. The bottom line is pay/pensions and healthcare make up roughly 80% of the schools budget. Saline teachers pay "zero--nadda--zilch" for their healthcare , have healthcare till they die and pensions till they die that pay them roughly 3 grand a month plus at this point in time. On top of that, they can retire at 30 years ( say 52 years old) and once they turn 62 they can collect social security. What a gig eh and all at taxpayer expense, simply marveleous, at least for them. The times are a changin and I as a taxpayer am looking forward to it. Good Day


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:50 a.m.

Saline school district needs an emergency financial manager in power pronto!


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

Just what they don't need.

zip the cat

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

Divide your shortfall by the number of kids in your school system and send there parents the bill. If you want a education,mom and pop pay the piper. No pay,No diploma End of problem


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2 a.m.

No, just the beginning of the problem. It will come back to haunt us all. The fallacy in your argument is the assumption that only the educated person benefits from his or her education. Guess we can modify some of what I said. I'm too old to worry about it. But generations to follow will be burned if they accept your reasoning.

Jimmy Olsen

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

@towny Instead of just venting and name calling why not suggest some ways to save the district money. By the way - Saline has the second lowest admin cost in the county - they all took cuts, etc last year. same with the support people, etc. they should be able to get some concessions from the teachers union, but that won't come near to 6 million. there isn't a school left to close - they are all pretty full. so what will it be ? either you are part of the solution or just another problem.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 11:33 a.m.

I guess I will not be a part of the solution with any more of my taxpayer money. Because they are not getting any more. I guess I'm just another problem when I comment on obvious mismanagement on where my money goes. Maybe they should of not built the palaces they have built. None of us should question or point fingers just keep paying more for more and more and more. Everyone has one right.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

In my house, we don't spend what we don't have. What are the national standards for schools regarding dollars per student, and the return on those dollars spent. "The world is flat", which if you haven't read it, is a great book. Perhaps this explains some of the comments posted!


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Jimmy, And yet, we know that cutting money HURTS education.

Jimmy Olsen

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

Daniel That is the interesting one can ever prove that throwing more money at education improves education....


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.

And perhaps it doesn't.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

See earlier post. I do not believe in any way shape or form has the Saline school district made the necessary cuts in the fat this district has. I see another school that needs to be closed do it now. Sure it will not be popular but cuts have to be made whether you like it or not. Why not bring in more school of choice students and slap in the face this districts taxpayers again like you did before. I dare you to bring in a outside consultant and I just bet the fat will be found. The school administration has not made the cuts needed for fear of stepping on toes. Rather its best to cry and cry and cry until we can try to convince the districts taxpayers to pass a new millage. We will be hearing this all spring and summer now. Just do the job you where hired to do and put the tissue away. Because when are you going to get the message knuckle heads the taxpayers are not going to or can pay any more.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

Folks - we need ideas to cut costs. There simply is no money. Teacher salaries make up 70%+ budget. Find $5,000,000 dollars starting in 6 months - not $5,000. . Idea One: Change Health insurance - substitute the plan Chelsea Schools put in place recently. That plan cut big dollars from the annual budget without changing the coverage or benefits. The district self insures a percentage and the carrier takes the rest - waaaay better deal than what SAS pays right now. Why pay more? Idea Two: Teachers, you are making an average of about $70,000/year - good for you - but please consider paying 5% of your monthly health insurance premiums (I pay 100% of my premiums.) We are talking about $50/month for full family coverage - I think you can handle that. This small payment has wonderful effects in the insurance world. (Add a $50 copay and the rates drop further.) Idea Three: Teachers, I ask that you consider a small mount of your salary for retirement contribution - like 2-3% - (again I pay 100%, self employed) This would save the school nearly $1,000,000 per year. These ideas could help save salary levels and teacher jobs; teacher jobs that lower student to teacher ratio's and make every teachers workload that much better (making the teacher more effective too!) I know the Union leadership will want to simply layoff teachers, (teachers that leave can not vote in Union elections!) - But does that really help the kids? Lastly - everyone has taken cuts in Michigan - 8 years now and running. Property values are down and job security is zilch. I have not had a raise in five years - I am a taxpayer and I am broke.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 12:20 a.m.

I teach in Ann Arbor and I already pay almost $300/month for my health insurance. Our co-pays went up mid-year last year as one of our many concessions as well. 6% of our salary is taken by law to fund our pension; this is mandatory for all teachers. I am a taxpayer and I've taken cuts too. My home's value is terrible and job security.. well, I've been threatened with lay-offs most of the years I've taught in the district.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6:55 p.m.

With teaching being the &quot;gravy train&quot; claimed by many commentators, how do we explain the high attrition rate of people from such an easy and lucrative field? See: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Doesn't make sense to me. The only conclusion I can reach is that teaching is not quite as nice as the &quot;teacher bashers&quot; are claiming.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

What do you do? How much do you make? What is your educational background? Silvio


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

And for those long summer vacations for teachers. Forget about it. My wife spent the better part of her summers attending, at her own expense, workshops, classes, etc. to improve herself professionally. Point: what is needed is a better appreciation of what teachers do and provide.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Name one other filed that has the job security teachers have. Good or bad they stay forever and they have pensions. It is not right! My contribution to health care for a family of 3 is $325 a month! How much do teachers pay? I have to put 10% each month into 401K. How much do teachers put?


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

I was an attorney, Denise, and practiced for 30 years. I worked no harder than my wife and did much, much better financially.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

Denise, you vision of the teacher's work week is flawed. My wife taught for nearly 40 years and I can tell you the hours were long --- very long. Remember, for every hour in school, there are countless hours of preparation and post-lesson evaluation, not to mention parental contacts and paper work. I used to joke with my wife that her work week came close to approximating what we were told about college: for every hour of class, spend two additional hours of outside work (Prep and review). Thus, for the teacher 30 hours of pupil contact yields and work week of 90 hours . And be assured, for my wife, that was not far off. And when my wife retired from teaching two years ago, she was making $65,000 per year --- not close to 150-160K, and I believe her service was every bit as valuable.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 8:50 p.m.

I don't think anyone is saying that teaching is an easy field. Surely, it is a challenging career for those teachers that put forth their best effort to provide productive learning environments and follow student progress carefully and thoughtfully. I have been fortunate enough to experience this excellence in Saline. At this point in time, it is a quite lucrative career. The pension value alone is an enormous value. Currently, it starts at around $40K and increases 3% a year guaranteed. Those with the opportunity to choose other careers such as law and medicine, in a lot of instances, probably don't match or barely match teacher total compensation. For example a mid level primary care doc makes about 150-160K. They probably need to work 40-50 hrs/wk, at 45 hrs that amounts to $67/hr. Teachers w/ MA plus 30 are at 61/hr after 10 years, with 35 hr workweek, 183 days with adjustment for 4 wk vacation like a doc probably gets. If a doc needs to work 50 hours a week for this pay, they then make the same or slightly less. I can't speak for attorney, pay but my impression is that it is highly variable and lists mid level attorney in A2 at 119K.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

OKuhn, when are you going to wake up and see where you are taking our educational system? See my other posts. Do you have an answer to the problem posed? Clearly, slashing our education budget will not due.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Bob, I too have an engineering degree but I also have a teaching degree. What kind of factory is it? Depending upon what you produce, I suspect you have pretty strong guidelines set in place for the quality of the materials used, the temperatures at which production must be done, etc. What do you do when things fall outside of tolerance? I assume you fix it or return the materials even if it is costly to do so because the cost of not fixing it would be higher. I also suspect you pass those costs along to your customer one way or another. We don't have that luxury. We can't send our students back just because they aren't reading at grade level or don't speak English. We can fix somethings that go wrong but so many of the things going wrong are mandated by state or controlled by the parent. I guess it must be frustrating for you to have to work all year in a hot factory while I am whizzing around shopping all summer? Of course, if you DESIGNED that factory, you are quite experienced as an engineer and most likely a licensed engineer at that. I bet your salary is quite significant... at least 6 figures. Factory design is often done by consultants as factories aren't built all that often. Unless you are a consultant working for yourself, most senior engineers DO get health care, vacation time, sick days and matching 401K. Bonuses even. And rightfully so! While I'm not in my classroom year round, I do pay for my health insurance, I do pay for my retirement and I don't get paid for the time I'm NOT in my classroom. You know this to be true and yet, you still want to pretend that somehow teachers are greedy, under-educated, over compensated, lazy people who just want to steal from the taxpayers and don't give a darn about our students. Guess what? I can care about my students and respect myself enough to fight to keep what I have (which is still a cut!).


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

Okuhn, A PhD and this: I spnet my share of time and money on education. Allow people to see what your salaries are form our tax money Hardly a PhD or a teacher. 8 months a year? Another bunch of feces. Children start school the end of August; teachers have to be there a week or more early to prepare for their arrival. Children leave school mid June; teachers stay there another week to &quot;close up their rooms.&quot; That's at best mid June to mid August. The math I studies on the way to my JD tells me that's a 10 month school year. And, as a teacher, my wife's not done. She can't get a summer job because she is lined up for classes or workshops, at her expense, to improve her as a professional. Okuhn, start with a false narrative and you reach false conclusions.

Basic Bob

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

grye, You assume that I work in a factory. Actually, I designed it. I have an engineering degree, but I must work ALL year to pay for my own health insurance, a little vacation, and possibly retirement.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:36 p.m.

My friend grye: I have a Ph.D. and was teacher for 6 years. I spnet my share of time and money on education. I am an insider, don't try to sell me anything as I am not buying. Time of change is upon us. You have to stop robbing other people and claim you are gods just for doing your jobs. Nobody in Ann Arbor, except fresh from the University makes 35K a year, but for 8 months - that is equivalent to about $50k a year - as nobody stops them to take a summer job if they pity themselves.. Allow people to see what your salaries are form our tax money for 8 month per year,and then let's see if that is fair.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

No one's fault but yours if you didn't try school. Go back to college, get a degree, get a teaching certificate, then earn about $35k a year and talk about how bad it is. Mean while, enjoy the hot factory.

Basic Bob

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

grye, I'll spend some time with a teacher in July and August. Oh, sorry, I'm busy. I will be working 12 hour days in a hot smelly factory in Kentucky. (12 years of brainwashing down the drain)


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6:55 p.m.

Okuhn and Basic Bob have no idea of the requirements for teachers, the hours spent on the job, the money they must spend to keep their job, etc. They need to spend some time in with a teacher (the 12 previous years didn't sink in).


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

Observe that budget solutions currently being discussed view reduction in teacher pay and benefits not as a temporary expedient needed because of temporary budget conditions created by the great recession, but as a permanent structural change in how the profession is to be compensated. Note that the &quot;permanent&quot; changes sought in the teaching profession are in stark contrast to those private industry cutbacks which, when the economy turns around, will surely be reversed. The natural and probable result of current educational policy changes, and the thinking that supports them, is a return to the teaching profession as it existed until the union movement of the 1960s, a profession with two salient characteristics: 1) one with pay and benefits usually suitable only for 2nd family earners or people with sufficient family wealth to make their teaching income and benefits nearly irrelevant, and 2) one that used as its primary source of talent bright women who had few other professional alternatives available to them. Stated simply. 1. American education is under attack for allegedly failing to educate our youth. 2. Research indicates that the most important factor in how well students learn in our schools is the quality of the classroom teachers. 3. Our educational establishment is in competition with other professions to attract the highest quality people possible into teaching. 4. For the past 30 years or so, as opportunities for talented young women have opened up in these other professions, the teaching profession has been losing this battle for talent. 5. Without offering any offsetting strategies , and often accompanied by vicious attacks on teachers, people are now suggesting "permanent" changes in teacher pay and benefits that will make teaching a less attractive profession than it is at present. A return to the era before teachers' unions had their impact will make our educational problems worse, not better.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2:22 a.m.

Great comment, nursing was like teaching, mostly women, low pay until unions.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6:25 p.m.

Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be TEACHERS Don't let 'em pick guitars and drive them old trucks Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and such Guess what, mamas have been doing that for some time now. To understand, go to the medical and law school graduations this spring and check out the number of talented women in those classes. (My son's law school class of two years ago, more than 350 in number, was better than 50% female.) In the days of the "glass ceiling," those young ladies used to become teachers. (My law school class of 1975 had no more than 10 women.) So what some people seem to advocate presently would making teaching even less attractive as a profession than it is now. With the changes some people seem to want, good luck trying to lure talented people away from law and medicine and into teaching. To compare teacher pay, benefits and working conditions to those enjoyed by teachers in other countries is but part of the analysis. Perhaps more important questions must be directed toward what our most intelligent, talented young people can be doing other than teaching. This is where our educational system has suffered most in recent years and, given prevailing attitudes and public policies, will suffer even more in the future. Some argue that teacher benefits are "unsustainable." What is truly unsustainable is the delusional thinking that we can address problems of our educational present and future by the gimmicks being proposed in current public discourse. Teacher accountability driven by scores on a multiplying number of tests, "super-pay" for "super star" teachers --- all are destined to fail. Only by making teaching truly competitive with other professions will we be able to lure into the teaching profession the kind of high quality people needed to make our educational system truly competitive. Only with high quality teachers will our schools be what we want them to be.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

But why lure bright and talented people into the profession? It's so much better to sit here and complain about all the bad teachers around! Until the general public understands that you do indeed get what you pay for, then I'm afraid my profession will be overrun by people who really don't have any other option but to teach. And then we'll sit around and complain some more about how the US is falling behind other industrialized nations when it comes to education. Sheesh.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6 p.m.

Please read the comment made by OKuhn. Interesting reply from a teacher I presume: he says that a car dealership should have its money 90% in the cars (makes sense) so that is why Public school system should have 90% of the money in the teachers HELLOOOOOO! Not in the teachers but in the children! Public school system doesn't educate teachers but CHILDREN! Maybe he/she should revise his/her attitude. Public school teachers exist because of the children. How it them makes sense that 90% of the money go into the teachers, maybe 5% into buildings and the rest for children? How is this fair? They only want to have an easy life, secure retirement, 4 month vacation, no accountability whatsoever and whatever is in between is just annoyance. Good riddance!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Silvio, you have no idea what you are talking about. See my other posts to get it straight. And to see the damage your attitude will do to the future of our children, grandchildren and our state. Money goes to the teachers because they teach the children --- hence, it goes to the children. What do you want cash doles to the kids and send them home.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

The math behind balancing a budget is not difficult. You either raise revenues or cut costs. The public has spoken up in many referendums and said no to raising taxes. Therefore the choice is cut costs. Unfortunately school districts disingenuously present the public with lose lose propositions. The choice is often presented as &quot;Raise taxes&quot; or &quot;cut needed services&quot;. Kind of like rationing during war time. You know, make the public suffer a little. The truth is 85% of public education costs are salaries and benefits and this is clearly where the public wants the school systems to start chopping at. Not less language choices, not shorter lunches or bigger class sizes, not a cut in after school programs. Salaries and benefits. Period.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

No doubt snoopdog; you could not say it any better --- or worse.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:45 a.m.

perfect debling, could not have said it any better ! Good Day


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:47 p.m.

It's the public's job to educate their children. If they don't want to do it, so be it. But don't dump it on the teachers.

Basic Bob

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

Too bad nobody is actually managing the finances in Saline. Just complaining about the lost revenue, as expenses continue to rise to ridiculous levels. It's hard to imagine that after the last few years of plummeting tax revenues across the state, that affluent districts would think that their state funding would continue to increase. No need for clairvoyance, just look around, people.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

It is very unfortunate that the district including teachers, parents, and students are in this current financial position. I believe teachers have an extremely important job and those that put their heart and best effort into it deserve the utmost of respect in the community. However, compensation packages for teachers just don't make sense relative to the pay that other professionals are receiving. If you look at the numbers for next year in Saline, a teacher with an MA and 10 years of experience is at a rate of around $83K. When you translate that pay to a 40 hour work week with 4 weeks of vacation accounted for (such as a typical package for other professionals in our community) the pay rate is about $58/hr. I don't know many professionals, even with masters degrees that make $58/hr. In &quot;typical&quot; salary reporting terms, $58/hr= $121,000 annually for someone that works a full time job. Not to mention excellent health insurance coverage with, I believe, no employee contribution with a bonus of $350 put into a health reimbursement account. This amount of pay with annual pay increases that are typically quite a bit higher than average in Michigan at this time adds up to a situation that is not sustainable. I also read some time ago about the teacher pension fund being well underfunded in Michigan as well. I believe teachers deserve a good wage for such an important job, but when 90% of a schools budget goes to salaries and benefits, that doesn't leave much wiggle room.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

Denise, I am a teacher and I believe that given the current conditions we have to make some sacrifices. Paying more into my health care, higher deductibles, higher copays and prescription costs as well as a pay cut and step freezes are all concessions my local union is offering in negotiations with the district I work in. However, please think before you compare teaching to any other profession. First of all, the idea that we work a 40 hour work week is absolutely false. You can't do this job without arriving early, staying late, and bringing work home on nights and weekends. Secondly, teachers are required to get first a masters degree, and then continuing education at our own expense. For all of those who begrudge us summers off, take comfort in the fact that many of us spend it in school. Instead of directing anger at teachers for their &quot;unsustainable&quot; pay, why are we not directing the anger at the governor for his &quot;unsustainable&quot; cuts. He is taking extreme and severe cuts from education, in part to fund a giant tax cut for corporations. Why is this okay with us? These are our kids and this is our future. What kind of workers will we be able to provide when we can't service and educate the children of this state. Most people have no idea the variety of needs and challenges schools face in educating all children. These cuts will make it near impossible, whether teachers make less or not. Teacher pay cuts can't cover a $700 per pupil cut. Write your Reps and Senators and Governor Snyder today. We can't stand for this.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:20 a.m.

Compare teachers to professionals with advanced degrees like doctors and lawyers. Now $83K (which is NOT the norm for the average teacher) seems paltry in comparison.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

Basic Bob, $83,000? Read my posts elsewhere. My wife, a teacher for nearly 40 years with a masters degree plus retired at $65,000 per year, and she was worth at least 3 times that much to the community where she taught.

Basic Bob

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

@ffej440, $83k is a LOT of money, and it is outrageous that is guaranteed by virtue of doing the same exact job for 10 years and taking a few more classes. Normal 40 hour workers who make $83k do not work only 40 hours, either, and they work significantly more days per year. The state tries to ensure that all students in the state receive the same opportunity for education. The school board has limited ability to raise revenue on its own, and must learn to live on a budget.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

Denise First off we installed a &quot;Hands off&quot; School Aid Fund in 1994, that has been robbed for programs other than K-12 for large amounts. The deficit would be much less if the State would leave our funding alone. The second problem I have is comparing a teacher to a &quot;normal&quot; 40 hour worker. I don't think ANY teacher in Saline puts in only 40hrs. Besides $83K for an MA with 10 years is not an outrage in any field. If the people of Saline have a problem with pay, thats an issue to be taken up by the School board and the MEA. We should not be forced into cuts because the State manages money so poor they rob our childrens K-12 fund.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder should assemble a team to sell the State of Michigan as an earthquake and flood free state to CEOs wishing to manufacture products without catastrophic losses and production stoppages like we are seeing in Japan right now. It's time to &quot;sell&quot; the State of Michigan as a safe place to maintain a business...not to mention our abundance of fresh water. This influx of industrial business will generate the tax money we need here in our state. LBJ had a terrific quote: &quot;Cease the moment&quot;.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:18 a.m.

Hey Einstein, it's &quot;Seize the Moment&quot;. And I'm imagining how will Gov. Snyder sell the state with your idea: &quot;Hey, come to Michigan, so your children can have 150 kids in the same classroom with them.&quot; Brilliant.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

I guess you are unaware that the Federal Government requires flood insurance in certain parts of Michigan. The required areas have been increased over recent years , so we (Mich) can help share the insurance cost burden with constant flood states.

Common Sense

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

There is a deficit and programs may be underfunded, but who is responsible for that? Tax payers or the School BoardAdministration? If we assume that the $6 million deficit is 10% of the current budget of about $60 million dollars, that is only $0.10 cents out of every dollar that needs to be cut. I am sure that the School Board, Faculty/Staff, Parents and Students could find ways to &quot; cut a dime out of every dollar&quot;!!! The tax payers have said NO!!! loud and clear over the past several months in the expensive, special elections. It is now time for everyone to learn basic economics, that you cannot spend what you do not have!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

You can't spend it. But you can give it back to business in the form of tax reductions? What assurance do we have that one dime of those tax reductions will go into creating jobs here in Michigan and that the majority of it will not go to investing in job creation in Mexico or any other place where profits will be maximized on the backs of low paid wage earners? None!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

The deficit is caused by the State robbing the School Aid Fund. Not the Taxpayer or the School board. You do have the right plan though its the State that needs to find money elsewhere. Robbing our K-12 fund is not the cure for State budget problems.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Where were all you people LAST YEAR when Gov. Jen &quot;Borrowed&quot; $170 per pupil ? The School Aid Fund should have NEVER been touched by ANY gov for anything ! Now this practice is being done by Snyder for $300 per pupil because you let Jen gat away with it. The sytem was changed in 1994 to prevent shortage in the funds. The system still works fine if the State would keep their greedy mits off the fund, and use it only as intended. Wake up People ! Its not Republican or Democrat. Its BOTH using a shell game to spend OUR money in other areas.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

&quot;Graden said, retirement costs to local districts have been increased by the state of Michigan by 44 percent in the last two years.&quot; I searched for information on this and finally found the the Financial Report of the Pension Plan for the year ended 9/30/10. The benefit plans are significantly underfunded. Someone has to pay.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

If my retirement account goes down because the investments tank its too bad for me, but if the teachers pension fund goes down because the investments tank, &quot;someone had to pay&quot;. Well that's technically correct, but what if there is no more money? Everyone is tapped out. There is no one to pay.

Maksym Kloka

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Here is an idea of how we can fix this. Cut the football spending! This way, not only will the school save a lot of money, but they will also also eliminate something that is completely useless and a waster of time. Maybe more kids will hit the books and do something useful with their lives instead.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

@Maksym- Athletics are funded out of a separate fund than the general fund, which is where the deficit in question is coming from. Money can be transferred from the general fund to the athletics fund, if necessary, but as of last year's budget report there was quite a bit of fund balance to cover the deficit in the &quot;special revenue&quot; budget, which covers athletics. Eliminating spending on football would not affect the general fund.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

For the record - football brings in most of the athletic department's revenue.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

Cry,Cry, Cry, Cry, and Cry some more. Learn to handle what you have and do your job. Spend, Spend, Spend, and Spend some more. I bet the taxpayers are going to hear of all the doomsday cuts we are going to be facing. Lets start the new campaign to raise taxes. Huh Scott, lets get the ball rolling. When there are teachers making over 100k a year and have off the summer to recuperate come on lets get real join the real world. The district adminisrtators just can not or will not do there high paying jobs. All they know how to do is continually strike at the taxpayers for more, and more, and more and then some more. This is affecting all districts in Michigan not just poor saline. So stop the crying.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:25 p.m.

Instead of whining about the looming budget cuts, how about coming up with ideas to consolidate and save costs? The budget needs to be balanced to reduce the deficit. Either expenses need to be cut or taxes raised. If we raise taxes on businesses, they will have less money to expand and create more jobs (which is what we need in Michigan). If we pay more in taxes to balance the budget, there is less money to spend. Taxing the rich will not wipe out the budget deficit. There needs to be a long term plan. I continue to suggest that school systems in the county need to consolidate to reduce costs. If someone else has be budget balancing solution or other ways to reduce expenses, let's hear it.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

Grye - thank you for putting some sense into this conversation. This issue is not unique to Michigan. It is happening across the country. Illinois just raised their individual income tax 67% and their business tax 45% and guess what happened? Companies started moving out. And what do they take with them? Jobs. So please stop saying the answer is in raising taxes. We need to find a long term solution to get us back to living within our means. I may be opening a can of worms here, but can anyone tell me what the WISD does? Seems like a lot of overhead to me that could use some penny-pinching or eliminating.

Roger Roth

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

One more thing (with apologies): All any parent wants for their kid is the very same thing John Boehner sobbed about a few months ago: &quot;A shot at the American Dream.&quot; Please don't ever, ever allow anyone else to dictate to you, in this, the world's wealthiest country, that this is an unreasonable goal and don't ever, ever let anyone else dictate the content of that dream. The middle class has never been or acted unreasonably, except in the minds of the controlling aristocracy or those whose minds they've poisoned. We were told in the 70's the world was out of oil. (Nader called that statement a lie.) Governments will say anything to advance their power agenda.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Well, to all of the people complaining about the poor financial states of Michigan, and how the education sector has to deal with it, perhaps now you will rethink the purchase of that Audi, VW, Toyotal, or Honda. When we don't support the industry that supports Michigan, what do you expect? I find it always so comical that people drive to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market to support our Local Economy in their Lexus or Mercedes, as farmers ask you to buy Local from the back of their Subaru or VW. Great - you bought $5 worth of locally grown veggies in a $50,000 foreign car. Great Job! Priorities like that lead to situations like this - schools with NO MONEY!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

&quot;retirement costs to local districts have been increased by the state of Michigan by 44 percent in the last two years&quot; Pension promises were made that taxpayers have no ability to make good on in this economy. We all got lied to by Wall Street and their minions. Setting aside the issue of why those crooks aren't in jail, which is outside of Gov. Snyder's influence, what do we do now? Raise taxes on a crashing economy? Good luck with that. Sorry, this is a math problem. It doesn't care what you were promised. Scream and shout and march all you want, the money just isn't there. Several hundred thousand taxpaying jobs are gone and aren't coming back.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

Sounds like our Governor has to appoint an emergency manager here. He'll straighten this mess out: cut everything to the bone then declare Saline as part of 'Greater Ann Arbor' so we can have factory size schools taught by low paid teachers who will train students to easily fit into a nice corporate cog somewhere (also working for minimum wage). Worth mentioning in this context: Charles Ballard, an economist at MSU: 'But taxes have fallen much faster than the economy as a whole. If we adjust for inflation, the Michigan economy is a few percent smaller than it was in 2000, but the state's General Fund revenues are down by more than 40 percent! The percentage of the economy going into the state's coffers was lower in 2010 than in 2000, by the equivalent of about $9 billion per year!' And then the state cut revenue sharing with local communities and told them to balance their budgets with 40% less. And this is the result. So we've given the wealthiest in MI our state tax revenue and now it's time to cut 'government waste' like schools, police and fire. A self fulfilling prophecy brought to you by the Republican party.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

Which is what you'd expect given that high income jobs got hit hard. If you go from a high-paying manufacturing job to a job paying half the gross salary the State will reap much less than half the tax revenue because of deductions.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

Greetings! All those union members and school employees posting here should get realistic. The school budget is allocated over 90% to salaries and benefits, and in the same way as Gaddafi is using people as human shields you are using children to threaten the community. Get real! Who else has job guarantees for life and the benefits that you have, ON TOP OF 4 month vacation each year? If you factor your salary for 8 months of work, most of you make way over $80K even 100K and pay close to nothing for benefits. How many of your neighbors have GUARANTEED pensions? What is this, in this day and age? What is tenure on the public school system when a teacher can't be fired for doing a crappy job? My apologies for the few high quality teachers still out there, but I had two kids in the school system here and I was appalled about the work some of the teachers did (more like didn't do). There are no checks and balances in the school system. We, the stupid ones have to save like crazy to retire, and you have 4 months vacation a year, guaranteed pensions and pay next to nothing for health benefits! There was a time when teachers had small salaries and then the benefits were better than for others. But now, all you wolves in the school system in Saline or Ann Arbor or all Washtenaw county for that reason , have your hands deep in our pockets every year wanting more! I can't remember a ballot when you didn't ask for more money. If the businesses would be run like the public school system, US would not exist anymore. How can a school system with millions in debt pay $160,000 for a superintendent and $120,000 for a school principal? Ann Arbor paid over $120,000 a year the principal in Skyline plus a ton her secretary for two years BEFORE the school was done! What world are we living in? When is the community going to wake up and say ENOUGH! Shame on you! It is time you get real


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 3:04 a.m.

No way. I'm not buying the &quot;I was a teacher and you have it sooo good&quot; theory. And, if you were a teacher, you weren't very good because you didn't seem to work long hours and pour your heart and soul into your job. Please check your facts before posting - I paid for my masters degree - 100% of it. I use sick days when I'm sick, as I'm surrounded by 25 kids who routinely get sick and &quot;pass it on...&quot;. I have never, in my 15 years been treated to a hotel by the school system. Teaching is NEVER &quot;just a job&quot; it's what I do and who I am. A statue? Nah, just some respect.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

Note that, very quickly in his post, Silvio's voice shifts from &quot;I&quot; was a teacher to &quot;you&quot; teachers get . . . Conclusion: never set a foot in a classroom to teach. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

JC Silvio, where the hell did you teach. Bet you didn't!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

I was a teacher - so stop complaining that the life of a teacher is hard! You go to conferences and the school pays for it. Free hotels and meals. You go for a Master degree to retire with 60,000 and the school pays for it! Oh, wait , not the school, but all of us. You stick your hands in our pockets for all those millage after millage. Just stop posing as victims. You have days off in the middle of the school year for enrichment when you do very little. You have a certain number of :&quot;sick&quot; days when you just need to run errands and you fully take advantage of all of them. The school has to pay substitutes for you all the time. Countless times my kids told me that they had a substitute for some classes. There are a few very good teachers - no doubt about it - but they are just doing their jobs that is why they stand out. How many people want a statue for doing their jobs? Get real, you are handsomely rewarded and most of you don't put much stock into it. For you is just a job. So do it and don't expect extra benefits that other working people don't get. In Washtenaw county there are many educated parents and the schools (kids) take care of themselves and have great results mainly due to the parents not the teachers. But guess who rips the benefits? So bow your heads and accept change. Why are you so opposed to competition or vouchers if you are so great? Because you are afraid. But change is coming, so take your hands out of my pocket.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

You have no concept of the number of hours a teacher spends performing their job. Arrive at least a hour early, stay an hour late, work at home at night and weekends. Avg hours spent is well over 60 each week. Summers are spent developing new material for the curriculum. They don't get to sit on their backsides for 4 months and do nothing. They are also required to attend continuing education that is not reimbursed. the slary is well justified in that they are managing at least 30 individuals throughout the day. Much more than any manager I know. Before you fire off another critical message about overpaid underworked teachers, go talk to a few and find out what the job entails.

Jonny Spirit

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

So your saying that a car dealer ship should have 90% of its money in cars? So a school shouldn't have 90% into teachers. That is there business, that is what the company revolves around. Think about what your saying. What do you want schools to invest in Dog Food so it is 40% Dog food and 60% Teachers. You know what would help, if they made every school get the same amount of money per kid so people can ask why is this school making it and this one is not. Right now Ann Arbor schools are getting almost $2,000 extra dollars per kid then it's surrounding schools. Not Fair!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1 p.m.

The crisis in K-12 funding in Michigan can be traced back to the elimination of Parochiaid in the early 1970's. By taking away even modest support for private K-12 schools, the state began to force more parents to put their children into the public school system - a system whose funding mechanism was simply not equipped to manage the sustained increase in the school-age population drawing from it. In 1994, the school funding mechanism was remodeled in an attempt to fix K-12 funding, and address the disparities that arose as a result of the old mechanism. Clearly, the refurb isn't working either. It is time for the state to consider taking a friendlier approach to supporting parents who choose to educate their children privately. By doing so, parents remove children from the School Aid Fund, reduce class sizes in the public schools, and make more money available per-pupil for the students that remain. The State reaps benefits because it can take advantage of the fact that some people and organizations are willing to share the cost of educating children -even to the point of paying the majority of the expense. The public school systems benefit because they would receive more funding per-pupil than they do under the current system. The parents benefit because they would get REAL CHOICE in K-12 education and the children benefit because the system would reward schools that perform and retire schools that don't. It's time to restore the balance to the K-12 education landscape in Michigan.


Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 12:02 p.m.

Not wrong at all. Parochiaid was meant to compensate parents who were paying for both the public school system and private schooling for their children. The plan would have paid for non-religious instruction at parochial schools. The system works in Ohio and several other states in the US. By reforming the Constitution to prohibit this type of compensation, Michigan has effectively forced more children into the School Aid Fund than it can support. It's time to start thinking differently about paying for public education. Reforming the State's irresponsible and costly &quot;all-or-nothing&quot; position on paying for a child's K-12 education is a good place to start.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Mar 26, 2011 : 1:44 a.m.

&quot;The crisis in K-12 funding in Michigan can be traced back to the elimination of Parochiaid in the early 1970's.&quot; Wrong. Parochiaid became law in 1970 and was revoked by initiative and referendum in the 1970 general election. Source: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Hard to imagine that school enrollments changed one iota one way or the other given the short time it was law. And from that factual error flows specious logic about public funding of private schools. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

ffej440, You appear to operate under the assumption that the State is obligated to provide a guaranteed minimum spending level on K-12 education. Spending on K-12 education is &quot;discretionary,&quot; which means there are no legislated spending requirements associated with it. Proposal 5, which attempted to do that, failed in 2006 by nearly a 2:1 margin. No one is robbing anyone of anything. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone else who thinks the 1994 school funding mechanism has ever worked according to plan.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

The 1994 refurb worked just fine, until our govenors started to rob the K-12 fund for other spending. This is NOT about what the school spends as much as its about what the State spends.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

Great points Ypsi! This is an issue that needs to be viewed at the state level, as the local public schools receive less money when I child goes to private schools. But you are absolutely right, my experience is that many private schools are losing students now as a result of parents that were barely able to afford the tuition and with the economic downturn now move their children to public schools which on a statewide basis just make less per pupil funding available. A minimal voucher program would probably move a significant number of kids from public schools and save the state money.

Roger Roth

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

The middle class toils, the federal government steals its money for bailouts and wars and then tells the middle class--through their state agencies (governments) that they're out of money (until the next war, which is already here and the next bailout) so, therefore, figure out some other way to educate your kids who, by the way, we'll be desperately needing in a few years to maintain our position of economic power in the ever shrinking global world and so, please join the Race to the Top and hammer those incompetent masses of teachers who are jeopardizing the very ability of our MIC to continue protecting our vital interests---abroad. It's so absolutely laughable! Why am I crying? Are we insane??!!!

zip the cat

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

I think that what you are seeing from snyder is just the tip of the ifinger for whats to come. Any low life who robs from the poor and seniors needs to be recalled. I was hood winked into voteing for him,WOW was I wrong. Never/ever will I vote for a rich politician again.... I don't know what the answer is for school funding. I know its not on the backs of taxpayers. Peplle are fed up with all these millages. I like others want to see where all my tax dollars are going line by line.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Here's a website you might be interested in. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Noone likes this, however the money is just not there the past several years to maintain old educational habits. I think we should explore solutions similar to partial home schooling and broader use of computers. This IS the computer age. The face to face educational style may have run it's course. How about classes in auditoriums, like in college? We should think tank fresh ideas for education. Necessity is the mother of invention.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

Comment from yet another person who knows nothing about education!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

The money was there until the state stole it. The school aid fund was funded just fine, the money being taken out is being spent elsewhere.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

I would like to add that my alternative suggestions would only work 7-12 and could be implemented as an emergency measure.... I highly value social contact. The governor should be vigorously lobbying industry to relocate to Michigan because of it's limited flooding and earthquake concerns. LBJ's famous quote, &quot;cease the moment&quot; could not be more timely. Japanese auto production has come to a halt, for example. What better time to recapture industrial production interest in the state of Michigan than now?

Steve Pepple

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

A reminder: Please don't write comments in all capital letters. It is considered the same as shouting and will be removed.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Change the guidelines! Or, give us some way to modify text to show emphasis (underlining, italics, bold, etc.) Caps are the only way to do this.

John Tuttle

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

ALL CAPS has been considered shouting online for as long as I've been using the Internet, and I started in 1988. It's part of standard &quot;netiquette&quot; - that term first being used in... *pokes at the googles* 1983, and has been enshrined in an IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force ) RFC (Request For Comments) file since 1995. It is *not*, however, spelled out on the guidelines page as of this writing.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.


Steve Pepple

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

It is part of our conversation guidelines, which you can view at <a href=""></a>.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:20 p.m.

That's the first I heard of this. I disagree with you. It's just a style. I have a friend who ASKS that people capitalize because of her declining vision....

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

As an Ann Arbor native who voted in favor of last year's school millage, I just wanted to say thanks to Saline for voting it down. You reap what you sow, Saline!!! Let that be a lesson. &quot;Is are children learning.&quot; - G.W. Bush


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:07 p.m.

publish the entire tax base $ coming in to the schools and the entire cost line by line of expenses so the people can see where the money is going. Property taxes go up and I pay more in tax every year... where is the $ going?!!!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

Sorry, Dudley, but property taxes are not going up. I live in Ann Arbor and my have been going down. A little personal satisfaction for my pocketbook, but leaves me wondering where the City is getting its money.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Your property taxes no longer directly fund your local schools. Look into Proposal A. This year, much of your money will be going to fund a 1.8 billion tax cut for businesses.

Roger Roth

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

Reading 'Riting 'Rithmetic and, with calculators, very little of the last. Education as we do it in this country is way overrated. Save the money for things we really need, like wars (yet, another) and bailouts (more to come.) The plight and lot of the middle class in America. Like New England witches: put them under a door and start piling stones on the door and keep piling and piling until there's no evidence of a witch ever having been there. And all we heard from the two W administrations was &quot;The war on terror!!!!&quot; Are we insane?


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

I can donate fifty dollars towards a recall who's getting it together.

Jonny Spirit

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

I'm in! Who should I make the check out to &quot;Michigan Use To Be Cool&quot;?


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:18 a.m.

I think the thing that angers me the most is the K-1 school aid fund that all tax payers have been paying into to help keep education afloat. This was set up to be the rainy day fund and to help keep schools from getting these huge cuts. So what does our buddy Snyder do, lets give a lot of this money to community and junior colleges and less to K-12. Wait, can't community and junior colleges raise revenue by raising tuition cost? Can public schools do that? As a tax payer I am pissed because my kids will be sitting in classrooms with 30-35 kids because Snyder has decided to do whatever he wants with a promised fund for K-12 education. And teacher bashers, please don't start. There is know way you can expect teachers to take cuts to cover these huge deficits. Cuts need to come from elsewhere and a new plan for revenue needs to be put in place. I hope our district leaders, or those of you in the public, have some ideas. But if we don't, don't worry, Snyder will send in one of his buddies to make those decisions for us.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

Why shouldn't a teacher take a cut? All the parents of those kids are dealing with them. If they won't tolerate living with the means of the community, have them look for another job outside of that field. We have to react to the reality of what is in the bank account. Teachers should feel so superior and entitled.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 12:02 p.m.

The School Aid Fund is not a &quot;rainy day fund&quot; for the schools. It is a budget account that receives and disburses all state funding for public K-12 education. This account, unlike some in the state budget, is allowed to carry money forward from year to year, but the State is not required to spend excess revenues that accumulate in the fund on K-12 education.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 11:02 a.m.

It's not just the so-called &quot;urban&quot; districts anymore. Suburban and affluent districts are now going into the red, and Snyder's incredibly short-sighted business-friendly budget is hastening this process. No doubt many who voted for him had no idea he would take from the poor, the elderly and our schoolkids to fund a huge tax break for businesses and rich people.

Dr. I. Emsayin

Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 10:52 a.m.

Snyder stole the K-12 surplus the state had and now he wants to break the schools. There are a lot of emergency managers out there waiting for jobs, and Snyder is the guy who is going to supply them.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 10:25 a.m.

How on earth can a school district in Michigan move forward when the state has taken funds away for at least three years and plans to cut the per pupil funding by over $700 next year? Even the most efficient school districts cannot sustain this kind of financial beating!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

The money comes from somewhere. &quot;The State&quot; is just a path to people's pockets. If we need $700 per pupil, then how about a $700 fee? We'll quickly see parents become critical shoppers for their education dollar. Right now neither the buyer nor the seller knows the price!


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

Allow vouchers and they you will see how.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 10:17 a.m.

The community is going to say that the teachers need to take a pay cut,pay for health insurance,etc. Even if the teachers did take a cut,there would still be a pretty big deficit. It's going to have to be something bigger than just cutting pay. Transportation,food service,athletics,etc. what's it gonna be? Teacher's salaries alone will not cover this. SO let's make sure we don't waste our time talking about that.


Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

hey, teachers voting here - go to your classrooms!