Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Election, GR Press article and Senate Budget proposal

Congratulations to our newest School Board member, Beth Milanowski and to Brian Ellis for winning his seat back. Thank you also to Mr. Rick Ostrander. We have benefitted from the dialogue that occurred because you ran. Here is a link to the article in the Grand Rapids Press about budget cuts under the current budget proposal. The House appropriations committee has essentially rubber stamped the Governor's proposal. This is poor from the perspective that each branch of government needs to check and balance the other branches. The Senate voted on their version of the budget which includes a half foundation grant for half day kindergarten. This makes sense until you realize that under Proposal A in 1994, the State of Michigan did not micromanage the foundation grants based on how much it really takes to educate each child. It costs more than the foundation grant to educate a high schooler. So, the state split the difference and paid more for kindergarten and not enough for high school, figuring the districts would know how to allocate the money. Now, there is no memory of that discussion and the legislators are feeling as though the districts are ripping off the state. Our district will lose $900,000 if this goes through. It will still lose $450,000 if the kindergarten program is boosted to whole day due to expenses related to that. High school will suffer. Although the foundation cut is less in the Senate budget, this kindergarten thing will be worse.  Lucy