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.