Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Special Legislative Alert from the Kent County Grassroots Advocates

The EGRPS Legislative Committee urges you to read the Legislative Alert sent by Ron Koehler from the Kent County Education Advocacy Group Grassroots.  His Alert is asking us to contact Governor Granholm and Senator Jansen and tell him that the money cut from the School Aid Fund is not a "surplus" and should not be sent to the General Fund to fund everything in state government but education.  Hands off education funds!  Please find contact information next to this post.

Lucy Lafleur

From:  Grassroots

Stop the transfer of School Aid Funds to the General Fund! At the urging of Governor Granholm, the House last week transferred School Aid Fund "surplus" to the general fund. These are not surplus dollars, but instead are funds that were cut from your local schools.

Senators are expected to vote next week on the transfer. We need to contact our senators and let them know this is unacceptable. 

Background:  Schools received a cut of $165 per student in this fiscal year. Late in the spring, unexpectedly high sales tax revenues boosted the balance in the School Aid Fund.  Instead of returning those dollars to our schools and students, Gov. Granholm and the House said these revenues represented a "surplus" and plan to use those dollars to balance the state budget.

Transferring these dollars to the general fund defies the will of the people who passed Proposal A to stabilize school funding and represents a precedent that may be difficult to reverse in the future.

Your message should be simple: Tell the Governor and Sens. Jansen, Hardiman and Jelinek to stop the raid on the School Aid Fund. Our children deserve better.

Contact Information For more information, contact Ron Koehler at rkoehler001@comcast.net

Monday, August 30, 2010

Welcome Back to School!!

2010/11 is going to prove to be a great educational opportunity for your EGRPS student/s but it can also be a great learning opportunity for you too! Our local media have been working hard all summer with in-depth articles about school funding and how to make it work in this changed economy that we are living in here in Michigan. I encourage you to take a serious look at these articles and look for comments in this space weekly over the school year.

Our plan for this school year:

  •  We plan to discuss and interpret school funding issues as they affect us in EGRPS and in the State of Michigan. We will review these issues with the EGRPS administration and school board and bring you the best information as it affects you and your student/s.
  • We plan to bring you a Candidate Forum in October with the candidates for the House 86th District.
  • We plan to off you an opportunity to meet with State Senator Mark Jansen who is both our Senator and a leader on the Senate Education Committee in Lansing.

What we are asking of you:

  •  Watch for Legislative Committee updates in your building newsletter.

  •  Please attend your PTA meetings in order to get updates from Superintendant Shubel, from the School Board and from your Legislative Committee Representative.

  •  Please read the articles from the Grand Rapids Press about consolidation and the series by Michigan Radio on Michigan school funding. Educate yourself on the issues.

  •  Watch this site for at least bi-weekly updates. 
Lucy Lafleur

 Chair EGRPS Legislative Committee