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Posted on Wed, May 18, 2011 : 12:20 p.m.

State lawmakers working to lessen cut to K-12 education

By Kyle Feldscher

A budget agreement is in the works that would lessen the blow to K-12 school districts from Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget, The Detroit News reports. The new plan reduces the proposed $300 per-pupil cut to a $100 per-pupil cut, the article said.

The report cites Ari Adler, a spokesman for House speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, as saying lawmakers will put approximately $310 million into K-12 education funding after receiving news earlier this week that revenues to the state were higher than anticipated.

However, the money wouldn't be coming with no strings attached. The report said school districts would have to agree to adopt "best practices" such as putting a cap on health-care coverage for employees. Details are still being worked out as to what the "best practices" would be, according to the report.

In his proposed budget in February, Snyder included a new $300 per-pupil cut to K-12 school districts in addition to a $170 per-pupil cut enacted this year that would not be restored. School districts are also facing increased retirement costs of $230 per pupil.

To read the full report in The Detroit News, click here.

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


Tom Bower

Thu, May 19, 2011 : 7:29 p.m.

Ari B. Adler Press Secretary House Speaker Jase Bolger When did these changes go into effect? Are they retroactive? For example, is Senator Randy Richardville in a 401 K plan or was he already vested in the previous retirement plan? Ditto other second term "career" legislators. Concerning the proposed changes to health care for Michigan legislators, will those changes affect all current members of the Michigan legislature? Please provide House Bill and Senate Bill citations. Respectfully,


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

How do we start a ballot issue requiring our elected officials to fund their retirement through a 401K? If we the people vote and have it approved, then the legislature will have to comply.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

Ari: Thank you for the response. So often important information is not distributed thus leaving misconceptions to run amok.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 7:27 p.m.

It's health care and retirement benefits that need to be reformed and not just in the Michigan Legislature. It's going to be a lost opportunity to have Republicans in charge of both House and State Senate and not do school pension reform. They are too caught up in the wrong thing issue. There are strong forces in play already-the rising price of a barrel of crude oil, and all that implies, inflation and rising healthcare costs that are making schools more efficient and leaner, putting pressure allready on the unions. This cut to schools was a gratuitous, and should have been avoided. Really, couldn't Snyder have dropped the tax rate down, but not elimate this year, to balance the budget? Seriously, after all that, the economy is picking up without his insistence to remove the MBT anyway.

Ari Adler

Wed, May 18, 2011 : 7 p.m.

grye, Legislators no longer receive a pension; they are already on a 401K system. In addition, to you and those who replied to your comment, ,Speaker Bolger is working on changes to our legislative health insurance benefits that will reduce the overall cost to taxpayers as well as changing the law so that legislators would no longer receive health insurance benefits in retirement. Regards, Ari B. Adler Press Secretary House Speaker Jase Bolger


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

And they need to have copays for health care (which will go away upon retirement and then they can go on Medicare).


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

That money NEEDS to go back in the k-12 school aid. Our leaders in Lansing (and I use the term loosely) have been robbing that fund for years for the general fund and have yet to repay it. How can you go from a surplus to a deficit so quickly? Capping is not "best practices" it's blackmail. Taxpayers should be able to vote on the State Legislator's benefits and retirement age. Most "Business's" that pay a retirement require at least 10 years for an early retirement and at a reduced benefit. Snyder and his lackies need to go.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

I agree with Dennis and gyre. Legislators and judges should have their health care benefits "capped" also in the name of "best practices" too if they want to cap school employees! They should contribute 20% towards their premiums and have the same retirement package, including restrictions and age requirements as all the rest of the civil servants! They are not kings and queens!


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

I'd like to see the legislature go to a 401K program. If retirement programs are going to be a family sit down dinner, then enjoy the same meal I will be having.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Ray: I think you fail to understand his rationale for changing the business tax structure. The change would allow small business owners to pay only income tax and not be double taxed. The changes Snyder has made are not to make the business owners more wealthy but to provide the opportunity for the businesses to expand and grow. Funds are needed to create a growth environment. Can't do it without the money. On the other side if companies choose to pocket the funds and not grow, I'm sure changes will come about. The intent is not to make the wealthy more wealthy. The intent is to create an opportunity for jobs. I am not happy with the education cuts and agree that other changes could have been made, however, if the State does not move towards a business oriented policy, then the jobs will not come here. If you have an alternative taxation plan that will create jobs, let's hear it.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

I agree with you on the 401k. I find it ridiculous that they want employees to contribute to healthcare and retirement yet they will not even talk about it. I've seen "Best Practices" after having been at Ford for 0ver 31 years. Most of them do not work and add more cost to the system. They act like they are doing US a favor by adding money to k-12 funding. I think they must regard voters as complete fools. It is our money and where we want it is in education. Not for business tax breaks. I watched over the last 3 contracts as the UAW gave major concessions and not once did Ford or any of the auto companies reduce the price of their vehicles so they could compete.


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

The State windfall should go back to the K-12 schools which Snyder robbed and diverted their funds to other interests, like small businesses. He should also demand the State legislators and judges pass legislation cutting their free lifetime health care benefits for themselves and their families after 6 years of service and retirement at age 55. It's called "shared sacrifice!" He can add that money to replenish the education fund too! Enough is enough!


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

For goodness sake's, still the Ebenezer School of money management. Where are those ghosts of School Year's past and future to help this crowd out?


Wed, May 18, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

Great only a $100 cut instead of a $300 cut! Slick and his wealthy friends must now have a clear conscience now as they bank their $1.8billion tax cut. I fail to see how reducing (called "capping") teacher health care coverage is a "best practice". In a job that requires constant contact with lots of sick kids, I would think that this would be more of a worst practice. I guess it depends on who's perspective you are using. Now, where did that $1.8billion go and who proposed that we give it to the wealthy?