You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, May 5, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

House Republicans approve education budget with deep cuts to schools, colleges and universities

By Ryan J. Stanton


Democrats and Republicans inside the state Capitol in Lansing are divided over cuts to education spending.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Public schools, community colleges and universities were dealt the blow they feared tonight as the Michigan House of Representatives approved a $13.8 billion state education budget.

Like other recent budget decisions, the 57-53 vote to cut education spending fell along partisan lines without a single Democrat supporting the measure.

Six Republicans also voted against it.

David_Rutledge_ headshot_2010.jpg

David Rutledge

State Reps. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, and David Rutledge, D-Superior Township, issued a joint statement blasting the GOP for passing a "destructive education budget plan."

Under the plan, which now heads to the Senate, community colleges and state universities would be cut by about 15 percent and Michigan's K-12 schools would see cuts of at least $426 per student, with some school districts being hit with even larger cuts.

State Reps. Rick Olson, R-York Township, and Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township, voted in favor of the cuts. Ouimet called the House-approved plan "a positive step in the right direction."

"These were tough but necessary decisions," Ouimet said. "We spend a massive amount of taxpayer dollars on schools, and rightly so, but the school aid budget cannot be held harmless when the state has a $1.4 billion deficit."

Rutledge called the plan "unconscionable."


Mark Ouimet

"Michigan cannot afford to slash public education like this, without seriously compromising our future," he said. "Schools have been cut to the bone, and beyond, and communities are already feeling the effects. These deep cuts could devastate already struggling districts, and to make them at a time when the school aid fund is running a surplus is shameful."

Gov. Rick Snyder's original budget called for a $470 per-pupil cut in funding for K-12 schools.

The Senate recently passed legislation reducing the cut to $340, which means the House bill likely won't pass through the upper chamber as it stands and differences will have to be ironed out.

Irwin noted the education cuts follow a House-approved budget that eliminates or reduces programs like Meals on Wheels, clothing allowances for poor children, libraries, medication for the mentally ill, and economic development and job training programs.

"At a time when our citizens are calling for shared sacrifice, there is plenty of sacrifice, but precious little sharing," Irwin said.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Tina Ferraro

Sat, May 7, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

I don't envy Snyder or anyone being in the position of trying to resuscitate Michigan, there are really hard choices to make. But it frustrates me that the newspaper class that my daughter was looking forward to this year at Saline High School was cancelled. Then the AP English Lit class that was signed up for next year was cancelled. But - she could still take Cosmetology or Parenting if she wanted to.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Tina Ferraro - Michigan Virtual High School has both classes on line and self paced. The District has to cover the cost if they do not teach the classes live. There are proctored tests and a great support staff of people to help your daughter through the classes. My son ended up taking about a dozen classes this way when he was at AAPS. The classes are really well put together and your daughter can learn a lot. I really liked that the essays were not just graded but that there were comments all the way through them.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Sounds like they should have kept the AP English class and turned the other two into online classes.

Marshall Applewhite

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

Everyone knows where the true blame should lie here......the MEA. Your union continues to take your money! They're really looking out for you.

Marshall Applewhite

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

Haha, if unions are completely ineffective, why do you pay them so much of your paycheck?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

Legislators aren't in a union....or are they? Is Chamber of Commerce just a fancy name for Corporate Union?

Floyd Griffey

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

Well ann Arbor, isn't it nice we gave a raise to the new Superintendent? How about closing that stupid Skyline high school?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

"Can you start by reading the Michigan Constitution? You'll discover there that the State of Michigan is responsible for providing and maintaining a system of free public education." Again, this is taking the easy way out. I don't look at "maintaining a system of free public education" as a substitute for educating my children. As said earlier, I'm not happy about the cuts, but realistically, how much have they cut, is it 5%? So the people crying over these cuts honestly believe that we can't give our kids a good education for $8k/kid (not sure what the real number is but assume this is in the ball park)? Is that a joke?


Sun, May 8, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

At $10,000/pupil, a $462 reduction/pupil would equate to a 4.62% cut. So, yes, you're in the ballpark.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

How come no one wants to talk about the cuts Jenny from the block made to education?? O yeah, she's a democrat, and anything they do and say is gospel. Think outside the box people. 3% is not going to make or break anyone. I'm sure we would be more than happy to give it back to the schools as soon as they are accountable for some progress. But no one seems to want accountability in schools. Lets just throw money blindly at them and pretend to care.

John Q

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

Was the School Aid Fund running a surplus? No? There's your answer.

John Q

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

"The State of Michigan isn't repsonsible for educating my children, my wife and I are responsible for it. All these posters who are crying about the education system being ruined and our children not having any future are taking the easy way out. It's easier to blame the State that blame yourself. " Can you start by reading the Michigan Constitution? You'll discover there that the State of Michigan is responsible for providing and maintaining a system of free public education.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

Methinks Rep. Ouimet has a deaf ear. How he could vote for this after his district just passed education funding by 75%-25% is beyond me. I think he may have a very bad 2012!


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Has anyone noticed that the bill specifies an ADDITIONAL 5% funding cut for universities who offer domestic partner benefits? Does anyone doubt the target of that little gem?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

I have two young children in the AAPS system. I'm not happy that these cuts are coming, but I live in the real world and know that you can't spend money you don't have for very long before it catches up to you. The education of my children won't suffer due to these cuts. My wife and I will see to that and will implement study at home on our own if we feel it's necessary. The State of Michigan isn't repsonsible for educating my children, my wife and I are responsible for it. All these posters who are crying about the education system being ruined and our children not having any future are taking the easy way out. It's easier to blame the State that blame yourself. My children will be well educated and have bright futures. I'll see to that. I won't put that responsibility on others.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

There are certain conservative posters here who repeatedly claim the Dems haven't offered any credible alternatives. That is wrong. Once again, the conservative approach is to smear the opposition with lies, repeated often in hopes that some sad souls will come to believe the lies. We can have honest arguments and differences of opinion but can we please stay with the facts? Snyder's plan is unbelievably cruel. I keep telling myself that he is not as evil as this budget proposal suggests, rather it must be his wealth has made him ignorant to the challenges of the working men and women in this state. Now, the republicans who passed this budget know full well what they are doing, that is kicking the average Joe in the teeth. Can education money be spent differently? Sure. But continuing the downward spiral of education cuts that has gone on for the past 2 decades is sad.


Sun, May 8, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

"Snyder's plan is unbelievably cruel. I keep telling myself that he is not as evil..." Really? Cruel? Evil? You've really got yourself worked up here. You're calling for civility in just the sentence prior. Take a deep breath, the budget is not the end of the world. The sun will still shine (actually, being Michigan, the skies will likely be gray but you get the point). Kids will still go to school and they'll be just fine (they are more resilient than us grownup worrywarts).

Marshall Applewhite

Sat, May 7, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

So......was there supposed to be a credible alternative somewhere in there?!?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Slick, his Lansing yes-monkeys, and his party of the wealthy continue to sow the seeds of Michigan's destruction. While he and his wealthy business owning friends pocket their $1.8billion in tax breaks, the quality of education provided to the children of this state takes a big hit to pay for it. How can anyone think that this is going to bring "new and better jobs" to Michigan? How is anyone fooled by this con artist?

John Q

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

Why is Ryan's article completely devoid of the fact that the School Aid Fund is projected to run a $650 million surplus? But despite that surplus, funding for schools is being cut?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

Most workers, public and private, pay for at least part of their own health care coverage—but Michigan taxpayers shell out about $5 million a year to pay for retired state legislators' health benefits, according to state officials.....That is FIVE MILLION taxpayer dollars per YEAR!!!!! The Rochester Republican Millin who is head of the committee holding up a Dem bill to cut taxpayer funded health care for life for legislators explained why he won't let it be voted on: "I mean. Well, for now, there are obviously various priorities." " Priority one was clearly cutting funding for education. They COULD cut $5 Million Dollars per year by just voting and approving this Democrat's bill. Why not? Anyone got any ideas as to why the Republicans are holding up this bill? $5 million per year would help Michigan children a lot.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

I haven't seen the bill, but in principle it sounds like it should be approved. Although $5 million will not fix much, every penny counts.

Hot Sam

Sat, May 7, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Everyone in government, from the president on down, should be on social security.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

I vote and I can complain. It's my right...and it appears to be yours as well.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

You have three choices: run for office and enjoy the perks, force change, or quit complaining.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

You forgot about the Judges who only serve one term and reap these free benefits. i also think, but am not sure, some appointees in the executive branch leave with similar benefits after doing their short stint.

Tony Livingston

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

Here is the information about the meeting tonight at Pioneer High School where our representatives will be in attendance. I plan to go and pose some questions to them. The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education will host a legislative roundtable on Friday, May 6, 2011 at Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

This is group-think at its worst and simply shows the cumulative result of years of bad education. The future of Michigan depends on improving the education of the workforce. Basic manufacturing is simply not going to come back here and we need to train people for more complex work. Everyone knows this, but mindless slashing, while lowering taxes in a manner that has proven NOT to increase employment just goes on, because this is the flavor of the month. We need to elect smarter people to represent us ...

Roger Roth

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

I've been trying a long time to win the most popular comment thing. Let me try this: Congratulations to our excellent governor. He's fixing Granholm's mess!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

Roger was being sarcastic, I'm fairly certain. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Not close, Roger Roth. Why? You are wrong.

zip the cat

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

If you want your children to get a top flight education go to one of the private schools and open up your wallets. They give you your moneys worth for what you have to fork out. And kids learn and produce or out the door they go. @ snoopdog,you took the words right out of my mouth. Why all the sniping of snyder. He's doing just what he said he was going to do and all you whiners and complainers voted him in. So if you want to blame someone for your demise. Look in the mirror


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

And sign the recall petition.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Following WXYZ-tv's expose on legislative perks? Democrat Slavens has been trying to get the LIFETIME pension and health care not only for legislators, but their FAMILIES....cut. The Republican head of the committee won't get it out of committee. Perhaps you Republicans can remind them about your deep concern about spending!!!!!! &quot;But for three months, Slavens' bill has been held up in the Oversight, Reform and Ethics committee. It's Rochester Republican Tom McMillin's committee. McMillin admits bills don't take beyond a week or two to reach the house floor. "Typically, I will have a bill and get both sides in, have a hearing and then try to pass it out the following week." McMillin said. So why is that not happening when it comes to a bill that cuts his benefits and that of his colleagues? His response: "I mean. Well, for now, there are obviously various priorities." &quot; WHY isn't this number one priority??? Come on Tea Partiers and Repubs....SPEAK up! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

EyeHeart, Feelin' good! The Dems introduced the bill and are trying to push it through. So my vote was wise!


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

I agree with you Cash. Feel better now?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Republicans would rather anyone but themselves suffer. They do not fit into our Constitutional ideal of 'promoting the general welfare.' They are despicable.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Can it be any more obvious Republicans would rather suffer the children than the businessmen?


Sun, May 8, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

Right, Cash, because the Democratic legislators have exempted themselves from feeding at the public trough all these years too...


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

Well THEIR children have health care and fully paid benefits for life. So....they don't care.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

We do not have the money! The education system is spends far too much money for such meager results! The question is: Are the Teaching Professionals smart enough to re-invent the education system so we are not spending more money on teacher/administrator benefits than we do on children?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

I'm sorry, but I don't get it. Teachers teach the children; therefore, money to teachers goes to the children. What should we do? Send the kids home with envelopes full of twenty dollar bills?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Then why aren't they cutting their lifetime pension and health care for THEMSELVES and their families?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:56 p.m.

Click on the link below to see how much your local school will lose. Type in your zip code. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

EyeHeartA2 - With the bond fund, the sinking fund, grants, special education money, and all the other revenue sources AAPS had a budget that exceeded $243 million last year. Up 27% from 2002.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Thank you for the link. I see AAPS is on the hook for about $5M. I also see that AAPS spent over $195M last year. I was concerned we were talking about a big problem due to all the gnashing of teeth around here. You have put my mind at ease. Thank you. A 2.5% reduction? All this over THAT?

Roger Roth

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

New Republican theme song: &quot;The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar...&quot; The Republicans are betting your bottom dollar the sun will come out tomorrow--for them. I seem to remember a situation not too long ago where other people's money was used in a bet that went sour--for investors, then the country. I was raised in relative poverty, went through a private university in the 60's on an NDEA loan, 50% of which was forgiven because I became a teacher. I don't think things are improving for young people. Quality of life, if it is not deteriorating for underclasses, is certainly getting more difficult and more expensive along with a decreased ability to finance it. I think that's called a downward spiral. Best thing to do is to want and expect less and try to find joy in the &quot;free&quot; things in life, like sitting around and staring at each other to see who smiles first.


Sun, May 8, 2011 : 1:47 a.m.

So Republicans are to blame for the rising cost of higher education?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

For those of you complaining, please watch waiting for superman!. We finally have a leader who is acting in the best interest of the tax payers, and not being bullied by the unions that are killing growth in this state. If you don't see that, then i'm sorry for you, I really am.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

Watched &quot;Waiting for Superman.&quot; But did so with some understanding of education. Thereby, understood that &quot;Waiting&quot; was nothing more than a well-funded infomercial for privatization of schools.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Why isn't he cutting the legislators health care for life?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

Then why aren't they cutting their own perks?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

The governor looks more like Lex Luthor to me than he does Superman. As for the performance of charter schools: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> (regarding the &quot;success&quot; of charter schools in Detroit. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The above reports focus on individual school districts, yet it is a national trend. The George W. Bush administration produced the following report regarding charter schools on the national level: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The Cliff's Notes version of the above: controlling for race and for the socio-economic status of the student's family, charter schools perform worse than do public schools. So much for the TeapubliKan myth about charter schools. Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

Yes, I've seen the movie. And yes, the movie is propaganda. The school charter school they highlight receives some of the highest funding levels of any charter school, so it is not an apples to apples comparison. Most studies show that charter school perform, on average, equal to or worse that public schools. Only 1/6 of the charter schools in America score higher. Also, not a single credible report makes the claim the unions has any impact on failing schools. In fact, the opposite is true. Highest functioning schools are 100% unionized, both nationally and globally.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:08 p.m.

How does it ignore the poverty rate, when the story is only based in poverty stricken areas. Did you also know that the 3rd highest performing middle school is in downtown Detroit with over 70% of kids on free lunch (They have performance based teachers there too)Have you watched the movie. And are you saying Bill Gates has an allterier motive.. Come on.. I hope even you don't believe that. The man has donated over 2 billion into our schools (and not given a penny to the teachers unions). If you think cuts should be made, I would suggest we start with the teachers union administrators. Iris Salters makes over 400K a year. And all she does is compare government to slavery. Thats 399,999 more than or govenor.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Waiting for Superman was funded by the Gates organization, a group that wants to abolish public education and replace it with for profit charter schools. Numerous studies (credible ones) have discredited that movie. The biggest problem with that movie is that it completely ignores the poverty rate. In the US, poverty rates at around 10%, the US ranks highest in the world in education. However, the US has rates in many areas that are much closer to 20-25%, and thus the education is terrible in those areas. Finland's poverty rate is 3% nationwide and they rank#1 in education. Anyone can make a movie that proves anything if you have enough money and only focus on half of the story.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

As a teacher, I think I might take my FOUR degrees and go work for Gateway...oh, it was liquidated? Ok, never mind then.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

Queegueg - 4 degrees, if they are english, history, education, and school management, you can get your $60K in the education system. In private industry (at least in Michigan) you might make $40,000 if you are lucky. Now if your 4 degrees are: Nuclear Physics, Mechanical Engineer, Law and an MBA you might get $100K, but you might also find they think you are over qualified. And you will not get your pension, the ability to retire at 55, health care fully funded, probable health care for life, and tenure. I would suggest that since in AAPS those benefits are worth another $44,000 a year, that you are getting your $100K.

Marshall Applewhite

Sat, May 7, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

&quot;I know him well. I've worked with people that worked for him.&quot; So you actually don't know him at all?!?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2 p.m.

&quot;In the &quot;free market&quot; I could easily demand 100K&quot; Demand all you want. Nobody has to pay it. &quot;I'd be dumb not to&quot; ...You said it, not me. You must be proud of all your degrees. Good for you.

Roger Roth

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

Good one, Queequeg! I remember years ago seeing a Gateway box hung in effigy in someone's front yard in a small MA community. God Bless America!! Become a CEO of a corp., run it into the ground, along with its workers, then get out before the implosion, with a big severance. Gotta love it--and we're supposed to teach kids to be moral, upright citizens. I'm rethinking the whole &quot;be a good boy/girl&quot; thing. Should be, learn the system and then play it to the hilt. No one will like you, but you'll be rich, then what do you care? Life's short. Get in, get rich, get out.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

And the three replies to my original post say nothing about this fact: I have FOUR degrees and make 60K a year. In the &quot;free market&quot; I could easily demand 100K; I'd be dumb not to. As a teacher, I'm not in it for the money (obviously).


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

He has a reputation as a liquidator. That is why the board called him back after his '97 stint. I know him well. I've worked with people that worked for him.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

After that, he was a board member, not part of the day to day operations


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

He left the company in 1997 (Their prime). Please know his story and resume before you bash him


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

The public schools receive somewhere between $9k and $10k per student. It would behoove the local school boards and school administrations within Washtenaw County to see how they can combine services and support functions to obtain economies of scale. I would suspect that there is money to be saved if we don't throw ourselves on our swords. In addition, maybe the public universities that are hording millions of dollars in funds donated to the schools could look at using some of those funds, cut back on potential unnecessary projects, and find ways they can save money. This needs to be a joint effort, not a million little efforts.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

$5 million per year and growing is NOT a little thing. With term limits this amount is growing by leaps and bounds. Allowing the legislature to divert attention from their greed and trying to pretend that they are interested in cost savings is foolish and short sighted. I highly doubt most intelligent people will wear your blinders.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

I'm only addressing the cuts to education. I'm sure there are other cuts that can be made but I am trying to stick with the current subject matter instead of diverting to any little thing that pops into my mind.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

And what about the precious legislators who just did this? Where are their cuts? Are they cutting their &quot;work 6 years and get pension and health care for life?&quot; No, it is stuck in Republic led committee.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

So this new budget means exactly what? That funding &quot;per pupil&quot; will go from about $11,000+300 to a new level of about $11,000-300? Is that why Rutledge called the plan &quot;unconscionable.&quot; Is this a cut of 10% - no. Is this a cut of 3% - no. This budget will show a cut of about &quot;0.3%&quot; when compared to last years budget. It is the first cut on a per pupil level that Michigan Public Education has taken - ever. .03% is a clerical error.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

Local districts should fund their schools. Not the State. Not the Federal government.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

That's not true. First, I don't know of any per student funding that is in the 11K range; most are more like 8K. Second, the Federal Funds that were given to school are part of the initiative end this year, so the State cut is only part of the overall cut. This is a more accurate glimpse of total spending cuts: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Type in your zip and click on your local schools.

Rork Kuick

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

Your math mojo is having trouble I think. I get 600/11000 is about 5.5%. Call me crazy.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Rutledge stated &quot;Michigan cannot afford to slash public education like this, without seriously compromising our future,&quot; Our future is already compromised. Michigan is on it's deathbed. Detroit has lost some 66% of it's population form it's highs. Property values across the state are in free fall. Foreclosures are everywhere. Grads are leaving in droves. The economy comes first, taxes come second.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

The why not cut the pension for life that these same legislators get?

Wolf's Bane

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

I just want to add my congratulations to all the parents out there who voted for Snyder and have children in the AAPS; you just managed to shrink your children's educational opportunities and future job prospects! Thanks a lot.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Yeah, it came down to Snyder, whom I didn't trust, and smarmy Bernero. I couldn't bring myself to vote for either of them, so I voted in all the other races and left that part blank. I couldn't manage to vote for either of the Presidential candidates in 2008 either. We sure could use another Roosevelt, but all we seem to get are Harding or Coolidge.

Marshall Applewhite

Sat, May 7, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

Disagree. They might actually be able to support themselves in the state of Michigan. Parents won't have to pay for their kids until the age of 30 if Gov. Snyder's plans come to fruition.

Floyd Griffey

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

How about selling that stupid Skyline High School? We don't need it.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Unless, of course, you have as much money as Rick and his friends. Then you can send your kids to Greenhills (or some equivalent school for rich kids.

Lamont Cranston

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

Thank God Rick is moving us forward. I am tired of hearing the rants from the left and teachers unions. Lets face it, the teachers unions don't give a darn about the education, they give a darn about the money. If the MEA cared about education as they claim, our schools would not be in the shape that they are in. The MEA is a teachers union, and like other unions they are in it to get the most money for the people that they represent. All they want to do is hire more people and get them paid more. They are not in it for the educational results. Just look at the Detroit public school system, lots of money for lots of jobs and not a lot of results.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

Queequeg - I think if you do a little digging you will find that a union in Finland is different from a Union in the US. I also think that if you do a little digging you will find the way you become a teacher and stay a teacher if Finland is different. Then I think you will find the hours that teachers spend with students is a bit different too. It is not just the union that makes Finland work. OBTW - try to emigrate to Finland if your family is not Finish. Could it be that a uniform student population in Finland might have an impact on teaching. Or laws that hold parents responsible? No, I am sure the only difference is the union.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 3:56 a.m.

Since when have teachers done it for the money? Last time I checked, they taught because they liked students!

Marshall Applewhite

Sat, May 7, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

&quot;Study after study show Unions have no negative impact on education.&quot; Provide these studies please. Unbiased sources from within the United States, please.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

So you are in favor of the Republicans holding up the bill to cut their taxpayer funded health care for life and pension for life benefits after 6 years of work?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

&quot;Forward&quot;? You have your sense of direction all screwed up.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

Read. Study after study show Unions have no negative impact on education. In fact, the highest achieving schools are 100% union. Finland (#1 in education) is 100% unionized. It isn't a matter of unions, it is a matter of getting what you pay for. If you don't pay, you won't get much. Why would a teacher that has a Master Degree + (and almost all of them MUST have a masters degree) work for a school when their salaries are cut, insurance dwindling, and general self respect attacked at every corner. I have FOUR degrees and I make 60K a year. In the &quot;free market&quot; anything less than 100k would be a waste of my time. If you don't like unions it is because you aren't part of one. Unions only provide a reasonable amount of respect for very hard working people, things that frankly ALL Americans should have (insurance, fair pay, reasonable working conditions). If teachers didn't have unions then I wouldn't be able to afford to live and pay for my own education (I have to go back to school every 3 years, pay out of pocket). Why would I put myself through that for 30K a year? Why would anyone? If my union is dissolved, I will be likely forced to find a new job. Maybe I'll go work for Gateway computers...oh, wait, never mind.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

&quot;greedy school children&quot;? more like &quot;greedy teacher's unions&quot; Simply restructure pensions and health care and the money issues go away with no decrease in services. People have a choice in this country, if they do not like their job they can quit.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Yes, teachers will quit. The best and the brightest of them. More serious than those who will leave the profession is that we will have an even greater problem than we now have attracting the best and the brightest into the profession. Bad advice and a bad attitude, braggslaw.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

Nothing greedy about legislators (Republicans) who are holding up the bill to cut their pension and health care for life, eh?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:13 a.m.

They slash public education while not touching their own free lifetime health care, vision and dental benefits for legislators and their families when they reach age 55. No premiums to pay! How disgusting! They know how to &quot;tie up&quot; that proposal forever to avoid a vote.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:04 a.m.

I've been amazed by the Snyder transformation. In 6 months he went from &quot;One Tough Nerd&quot; to &quot;Tough On Nerds&quot;.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 10:57 a.m.

Message to the young families and people young enough to start a family: &quot;Please don't come to Michigan! Take your brainpower somewhere else! We're doing just fine, thank you!&quot; Good bye, young people.

Dr. Vag

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 10:09 a.m.

Nothing smacks of greed more than a child with her hand out demanding a free education. Serves kids right for thinking they deserve the same things their parents received. Is Canada still open?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

No more sarcastic than the original post...and more heartfelt, I might add. I'm sure the good Dr. Vag is as genuine as Alec Baldwin, Eddied Vedder and Michell Fink were on their promised but never delivered move to Canada if George Bush won. Anyway, if you retread 10 year old material for the umteenth time, you deserve a little sarcasm. Now, can somebody please post about Michigan being the Mississippi of the north? We haven't seen that in at least 4 days.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Nope, Canada has tightened up their immigration policies severely. It is almost impossible for the average American to get permission now. You need family to sponsor you or you need to be an &quot;investor&quot;. I think it takes 500k, could be 1M. EyeHeart may think the sarcasm is cute but it's no longer reality.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

Is Canada still open? Yes, it is. Feel free. Really.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 6:43 a.m.

Rememeber when all those greedy school children and teachers wrecked the national economy, thus depriving States of important revenues, by packaging (and repackaging) toxic, worthless assets with regular assets and investments. Then they were given nearly a trillion dollars in taxpayer bailouts, while they essentially continued the same practices?! Yeah, me neither. FIRE THE NERD


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Remember when consistently year after year increased the amount of money we gave schools, only to see Michigan's education system fall deaper and deeper behind other states. Yeah, I do, so what's wrong with Synder saying &quot;if you want the money, show you've earned it&quot;. Seems fair to me. Why have accountability everywhere in the country except the school system. There are zero repercussions for failing schools. And as soon as someone wants to put accountability back into them, people cry he's cutting from the poor kids. Please people, listen to yourselves.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 6:35 a.m.

Let's see. The Republicans want to gut public education (they can't stand to see some poor smuck of a kid actually have a chance to get the same education as their own overfed, snobby, stuckup, bullying kids). They hate old people. They hate young families. And have they actually done anything that even remotely resembles creating more jobs? How does taxing the elderly create more jobs? How does gutting education create more jobs? Wouldn't creating more jobs, create more taxpayers who would pay more taxes, thus helping to balance the budget? Oh, wait, the Republicans aren't about creating more jobs, liars that they are. They're only about lining the pockets of their rich buddies, who are cutting jobs as fast as they can so they can get even richer. Look, their real goal is to completely eliminate the middle-class, except for a few artisans and craft workers who might create something the rich want, but don't want to dirty their hands in doing it. But Joe Six-Pack? Hah! They have him so hood-winked, he'll gladly take cuts in his pay, reduce his kids chances of getting ahead, all because some Republican has convinced him that education, a thriving community of all ages, a vibrant workforce, compassion and a helping hand for those less fortunate, are things he should hate. So he will gladly accept less and less, just so long as he has his beer and tv to entertain him. Any future? Not in this state. Oh, and you know why unemployment is really falling? As people fall off the unemployment lists, they are no longer counted. A great way to publicize how wonderful the state is doing. Just stop counting numbers that make you look bad. Oh, and isn't our per capita income really something? Especially since we're about 40th in the U.S. And the Republicans seem to want that to go lower, don't they?


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

As to taxing pensions, the largest pool of pension payout in Michigan by age is the $7,500,000,000.00 that is currently UNTAXED that is paid to those between 55 and 65. Now I wonder who gets to retire at 55 anymore? Can anyone give me any hints?

Moscow On The Huron

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

&quot;The Republicans want to gut public education (they can't stand to see some poor smuck of a kid actually have a chance to get the same education as their own overfed, snobby, stuckup, bullying kids). They hate old people. They hate young families&quot; You forgot hate the poor, hate minorities, and love big corporations. Those three parts are missing from your copy-paste from your latest DNC email. If you're going to post lies, you might as well do a good job and post all of them.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

Do you really think that Snyder decided to run for Governor with the intent to ruin the state, destroy the education system, take all the money from the elderly and young families? Do you really think that was his objective when he was pondering how could he help Michigan get out of its economic slump? Get real.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

Cutting about $300 from a annual payment of nearly $11,000 per student is not &quot;gutting&quot; . - it is a clerical error.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 10 a.m.

Michigan has lost 20% of its jobs in the last 10 years. I know a number of people no longer on the roles of the unemployed because they were 'blown away.' right out of State.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 5:18 a.m.

Dblaine, You're wrong - the idea that we have no money is a hollow republican talking point so divorced from reality. There is money - the education was finally running in the black - it's just that the money is being siphoned away to fill the pockets of the Rich. On a national level, the siphon has been sucking money from the middle class and inflating the bank accounts of the richest few among us for decades. The American billionaires' and millionaires' clubs are the biggest in the world. As a rich man himself, Snyder clearly approves of this &quot;economic plan&quot; and is applying it in force in Michigan.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 1 p.m.

&quot;Michigan has a structural deficit. It's economy is now the size it was in the 1960s.&quot; The US Bureau of Economic Analysis says you're off by four decades. Our State GDP is around $361 billion in 2009. That's around the GDP for 2002-2003. I suspect your other figures aren't so far off, but if the state's GDP has only gone down 7%, ($386 billion 2007 to $361 billion 2009 - most recent data) *total*, why did Snyder propose to cut school funding 5% in *one year*? And supposedly the 2010 state GDP is thought to have gone up. So now, when the state's economy is improving, we need to cut school funding??


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Floyd, Michigan has a structural deficit. It's economy is now the size it was in the 1960s. Property values have crashed. The average Michigan family has lost real income in the past decade. You can cut spending, reallocate priorities, or raise taxes. Snyder has tried to do all three. People are howling.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

The School Aid Fund (SAF) was running smoothly until money was taken from the fund and given to other areas to fill the holes. SAF is designed for public education; taking money from that fund should be criminal (misappropriation of funds?). K-12 has one source of funding, SAF. Colleges and universities can raise tuition to fill the gap if they need (though I don't like the idea of making college less attainable for the average middle class student).


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 9:58 a.m.

Why should State and Federal tax systems pay for local schools. It is the most intrusive and ineffective way of funding them. Washtenaw County just showed the real solution. Local schools funded locally. Citizens and parents are then resonsible and involved in the cost and quality of their own community schools. they are responsible for their own children. Seems about right.

Peter Jameson

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:45 a.m.

thank you governor. Free us from the iron fist!


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Laughing along with @Cash. Also laughing because of avvy image @Peter has chosen: Obadiah Stane from the first Iron Man movie, who built the &quot;Iron Monger&quot; battle suit. Talk about a GOP cliche'. LOL!


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

The iron fist of legislators? The Republicans who refuse to allow the bill to cut their OWN benefits to pass? That's a laugh.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:06 a.m.

I'm a Democrat but I've got to admit -- what else are we going to do? There's no money. And quite frankly, the Dems haven't put forward a credible plan in years.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Where macjont? Where is this pot of gold? At the end of the rainbow?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

You aren't a Democrat.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! There is money. We are just not tapping into it.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

&quot; I voted twice for Granholm. &quot; ...and that was how she got elected. Oh, wait, never mind, you meant in separate elections. OK, I have to admit, I voted for her too. (Confession is good for the soul.)


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

The previous administrations gave out $9 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy and businesses that were supposed to pay for themselves with jobs. They didn't (never do...) and now we have to make huge cuts in all essential services. Does that make sense (other than to 'destroy government' Republicans)?

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 10:55 a.m.

I'm an independent with democratic leanings. I voted for Snyder and I voted twice for Granholm. I have to agree with you.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:02 a.m.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We just decided to destroy K-12 education and higher education with one quick vote. If you don't like it too bad, you voted for the CEO Governor to reinvent Michigan our way. Our way is to steal form the many to enrich the few. To turn education into a business adventure and enrich our friends and fellow lawmakers with business ties. You won't be able to do anything about it because not only have we made your schools and cities vulnerable with our new democratic busting EFM law...we have used legislative trickery via putting a budget clause on our &quot;reinvent plan&quot; to make sure you can never challenge our plan. If you had enough, make sure that you not only sign that recall petition for the CEO call Quimet &amp; Olson and tell them we will not forget how they threw Michigan families, schools, children, and older citizens under the bus to enrich the few on the backs of the many.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

&quot;We just decided to destroy K-12 education and higher education with one quick vote.&quot; Nice hyperbole.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

Peter, Standardized test scores do little to reflect how well students are educated. They only reflect how well they are taught to take the test. It sounds very much like you had lazy teachers. They only taught the test. Teachers in this state can and do lose jobs so there is no shortage of fear. There is also no shortage of fear among teachers that some slick politician will try to gain points with his constituency and reduce salaries and benefits, while causing mass lay-offs. Since there is always some slick ex CEO out there wanting to manipulate taxation to improve his personal wealth, taxpayers are often duped into being very short sighted employers. Public employees therefore, need collective bargaining more than any other worker.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Well stated, margaret goodly. Peter --- back to the drawing board. (Nice enough for you

Peter Jameson

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:49 a.m.

I had some of the laziest teachers at my high school, yet we tested high in standardized test scores. I can't imagine what the teachers are like in other areas. Tenures for teachers should be ended. We need to create a better environment for competition because a fear of losing your job is the best motivator to strive for excellence. The free marketers have deal with it, why shouldn't teachers?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

Short term gain and long term loss


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:01 a.m.

@ peachy the information you would like to FOIA cannot be FOIAED.

David Briegel

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

Well, it gives new meaning to &quot;The Education Party&quot;!


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:51 a.m.

Does anyone know just how many of our state representatives have children attending public school? Our Governor has his child in a private school. Maybe we should FOIA this information. They should walk a mile in our shoes before making cuts to the education budget. Chances are they wouldn't last a day.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

Get off the private school issue. Gov Snyder had 2 kids that attended public schools. There are many others in this community and across the state who send their kids to private schools too. Their income is substantially less than Snyder's. If you want your kids to attend private schools, sometimes you do without for yourself.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

Studies have shown that raising taxes on the rich do not motivate them to move out. So yes, DO raise taxes on them. Furthermore, instead of just handing out large tax breaks to corporations, have an 8% flat tax on all businesses. Then offer tax credits to those businesses who DO generate employment. This way there are actual incentives to create jobs, and not just give top CEO's million dollar bonuses. I don't see any &quot;shared sacrifice&quot; on the part of the rich.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

Many families with money (aka the Ford Children and Grandchildren) maintain multiple residences. Deciding to spend less time in Michigan is no big thing when you already own several houses. Most of the truly rich in Michigan have tax free incomes, with the way the structure trusts and so forth. It is the small business folks, farmers in an incredible year, some doctors and some lawyers who feel the brunt of this sort of a thing. Doctors moving, lawyers moving, not hard to see. Just hard on those of us who need them. The barrier to leaving Michigan is pretty small if the census data can be believed. And if we buy Jeff Irwin's tax bill, if you make $80,000 as a household you are RICH.

Marshall Applewhite

Sat, May 7, 2011 : 4:26 a.m.

Frankly, I'm not inclined to believe that a case study based on New York City, Switzerland, and Canada would also yield similar results in Michigan. With this state being much more economically depressed, the barriers to exit are much lower.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 3:48 a.m.

Gladly: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> or an over view from NPR: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Marshall Applewhite

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

Please post your evidence.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

We are headed in the right direction, God Bless Gov Snyder ! Good Day


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

And what direction would this be? Fiefdom? Caste system?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

snoopdog, one more piece of evidence regarding your intelligence --- or at least your sense of direction.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

God does not exist.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:14 a.m.

And which god would this be? Kali? Set? Nergal?


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

I love it, pulls tidbits it wants out of the bill to make the right look bad. So, you seem to be expert on everything, how should Michigan balance the budget? Raise taxes on the rich -- so the few remaining &quot;rich&quot; companies and people move to Ohio?


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

&quot;Its the tax DECREASE of $1.8billion that Slick gave himself and his wealthy friends&quot; This is untrue.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

Joe, its not a tax increase that anyone's talking about. Its the tax DECREASE of $1.8billion that Slick gave himself and his wealthy friends. The education spending cuts Slick is imposing are being done to pay for that Slick's and his party's greedy move. He knows very well it will kill employment opportunities in this state as the number of educated workers declines and companies move out.

David Briegel

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

Did they do badly under Reagan or Clinton? Or Eisenhower? Did we compete?

Tom Joad

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

We warned you about goof mouth Synder


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

I worked my way through college as a pizza delivery boy best money I ever maid. I must say, I fail to see how the two relate there are plenty of ways to get an education you just have to be willing to explore all the avenus


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

If my reply is not &quot;good enough,&quot; do not bother emailing me; just delete it.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

Not sure why my earlier comment was struck. Samseaborn's comment does not demonstrate a very sound education. I'm only suggesting that &quot;working one's way through college&quot; may not be the best way to go. And, in this day and age, with the cost of college being what it is, not really possible. (Now,, this reply is directed at samseaborn's comment. Good enough for you. Thought: you are being a bit picky here.)


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 10:08 a.m.

I, too, worked my way through college but I point to this to show how different it is today. Students cannot do this today because the costs are not comparable. For me the pay for the summer paid for the entire next year's tuition, room and board. Today a student would need a summer job that paid about $18,000 to pay for a complete year. Things are just not the same.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

I'm sorry I didn't mean to offend anyone. I meant that Snyder's cuts on education increase the already widening gap between the middle class, and top 5 % of Americans.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

I worked at Burger King to make it through college. No one knows about hard work anymore.

tom swift jr.

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:20 a.m.

I find this article to be the counterpoint to the article about the passing of the WISD millage. I'm so proud of Washtenaw County Residents and their response to the request by WISD to continue to support the education of our children. The results of the millage election was a breath of fresh air after breathing the stench of right wing efforts to destroy the future of our children. Our children... yes... that's who will suffer as we reduce the resources to their schools. They are the ones that will no longer be able to compete in the job market (which, as we move our jobs off-shore, as Snyder did, probably doesn't matter much, eh?). Our children won't be able to compete in entering the better universities (out of state of course, Michigan's public universities will no longer have a reputation of excellence). Congratulations, republicans (and, no, I won't capitalize that word), you've taken another step in motivating the residents of this state to find a new home... Your corporate cronies will have a hard time finding maids, cab drivers, waiters, and nannies, teachers, and bus drivers... we'll all be gone. I'll breath a sigh of relief as I cross the state line.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

&quot;...will have a hard time finding maids, cab drivers, waiters, and nannies, teachers, and bus drivers... we'll all be gone&quot; If those are the only jobs our education system is preparing our kids for, then we are in bigger trouble than I thought. The sky is falling, by the way...


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Malarkey, Roger Roth; Why do you feel that money magically appears if it comes from the state or federal level? Where do THEY get their money from? The taxpayers, us. It's this disconnect with reality that causes all the trouble. There is no THEM, just US. BTW, I think the federal unfunded mandates are BS as well.

Roger Roth

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Malarkey, awakened. Where are the communities (except gated ones) going to get the money to run their schools to the quality standards the state and the fed mandates????


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 9:55 a.m.

I think that funding for schools should be at the local level. this retains more control for parents and communities. Perhaps that is the point of the cuts; to make local communities more responsible and invilved withthe educationof their children.


Fri, May 6, 2011 : 1:45 a.m.

Despicable. Destroying public education and giving a 1.7 billion tax break to corporations. It is an outrage! I am sorry Governor Snyder, I have higher aspirations than becoming a pizza delivery woman. I am disgusted that he has cut so much from my education.


Sat, May 7, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

Rachel, Universities are raising tuition, not Gov. Snyder. Maybe you should be asking where your tuition dollars are going...

Wolf's Bane

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

I delivered Pizzas while in college. Nothing wrong with it and the tips alone helped me bag plenty of co-eds.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, May 6, 2011 : 2:15 a.m.

why bag on pizza delivery folks to make your point?