Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some Public Pulse template letters

Here are some Public Pulse template letters for the Grand Rapids Press.  Email to

1.  This one is about the Fund Balance--the savings account used by the EGRPS school district to even out erratic state funding and to keep interest payments as low as possible.

Fiscally responsible school districts hold back money from their budgets during stable years. This money is called a fund balance. Due to the crazy way the schools are funded in this state, the fund balance is used by school districts to cover expenses during the months between when their fiscal year starts (July 1) and when they receive the first check from The State of Michigan (October 20). Most districts have to borrow money to operate for this quarter of the school year. The more money the schools have in fund balance, the less interest the schools have to pay on the borrowed money. The schools also use this money to buffer budget cuts during difficult times, like we are living in now. I applaud the stewardship of the East Grand Rapids School District and their use of a fund balance to operate our schools in impossible fiscal times.

2.  This one is about asking for the Legislature to revisit Governor Granholm's proposal to expand the sales tax to services to fund schools.  This one was published by the GR Press on Monday, May 10, 2010, but additional letters can be sent in agreement.

Having listened to the severe budget cuts being made in my school district and having read in the newspaper about severe budget cuts in neighboring school districts, I feel very strongly that my legislators have let down the whole State of Michigan, including me, my husband and my children. Over and over, we hear about how an educated workforce is the only solution to our state’s woes, yet the Legislature continues to cut both K-12 education and the universities. I am urging the Legislature to return to Governor Granholm’s proposition to lower the sales tax and expand it to services. This new revenue will put our public schools back on their feet. Action needs to be taken before July 1, 2010, the start of the schools’ fiscal year. Our future depends on it.