Thursday, September 30, 2010

October 18, 2010 Candidate Forum called Hot Topics in Education Legislation

Hot Topics in Education Legislation has been set for Monday, October 18, 2010 at 7pm in the Community Center in East Grand Rapids.  We will be asking the tough education related questions to the candidates for Michigan House 86th District, Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R) and Frank Hammond (D).  Let's get to know our future legislator and let him or her know that we are interested in funding for education in Michigan!

Also, Grassroots is a Kent County Intermediate School District related education advocacy organization that meets monthly in the Kent ISD building, 2930 Knapp St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.  The first meeting is at 7pm October 7, 2010.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The EGRPS Legislative Committee is Non-partisan

At the Middle School PTSA meeting last week, a question was raised about partisanship, candidate endorsements and the EGRPS Legislative Committee.  The Committee is a PTSA Committee and therefore the primary mission of the committee are to meet the needs of the children of this community who attend public schools (see the full Mission Statement above).  We are non-partisan and our purpose is to educate parents and community members regarding legislative actions on the local, state and national level that affect public education.  Members of the committee include parents, EGRPS administration and the EGR School Board.  We currently do not have a teacher on our committee, but we are working on that.

Look for information on a Candidate Forum that will be held in the Community Center in October!

Lucy Lafleur, Chair

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's this about a School Aid Fund Surplus?

Legislative Committee meeting, 9-13-10 

At the meeting, we discussed the history of the “surplus” money in the School Aid Fund which is being used by the Michigan State Legislature to prop up the General Fund in the State of Michigan Budget.

Last winter, the projections for sales taxes and other taxes that go into the School Aid Fund were very low. In May, it was found that more was collected than those projections had anticipated which resulted in more money being in the School Aid Fund than anticipated. 

In addition to this "surplus", in August, the US Congress (or the federal government) passed a massive $10 billion bill with the purpose of keeping teachers employed. Michigan received $320 million of this new federal money.  

Our State legislature has decided to use the federal dollars to fund schools this year--even giving the schools $11 back of the $165 taken away last year and use the unanticipated sales tax money and apply it elsewhere in the budget.  This is unprecedented because when Proposal A was passed in the mid 1990's for the purpose of moving school funding to the State of Michigan, the School Aid Fund was to be dedicated to K-12 schools only.  Aside from this, the main problem is that all federal dollars run out next school year.  In the 2011/12 school year, we may have a $300 decline in per pupil funding.

We need to let the legislators know we want the School Aid Fund to stay with K-12 schools.