Monday, May 9, 2011

Press Release for Thursday's MI PTSA Rally in Lansing at noon

Rally For Our Children!

Michigan Parents to Protest Snyder's Proposed Funding Cuts to K-12 Education and Insist on Comprehensive Anti-Bullying Legislation

Lansing, Michigan — On Thursday, May 12th, the Michigan PTA, in conjunction with Bully Police USA, will hold a Rally For Our Children! The rally will take place at noon on the steps of the Capitol Building and will focus on two pressing issues: anti-bullying legislation and funding for K-12 public education.

A coalition of Michigan parents from Michigan PTA, PTO’s and Parent Action Networks will rally to send a strong message to the Michigan Legislature – leave the school aid fund alone. In April, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder released his proposed budget that includes draconian cuts to every Michigan school district as well as large increases in mandated contributions to items like retirement funds. He also wants to raid the school aid fund to send money to community colleges and state universities. The proposed cuts will devastate our school system and force districts to make hard choices – such as eliminating arts programs and busing, laying off teachers, cutting special education programs and increasing class sizes.

Michigan school districts, most of whom made dramatic cuts last year, are struggling to find places to cut that won’t directly impact the children. The parent coalition is struggling to figure out why these large cuts are being proposed at all. If Governor Snyder left the school aid fund as it is, there would be a surplus of $130 per student, and the legislature is expected to announce an additional $500 million in revenue after their conference on May 16th. In Michigan, K-12 school districts must rely on the State to set their budget and allocate revenues, thanks to the funding structure put in place by Proposal A in 1994. That proposal prohibited districts from raising funds through millages. Districts now depend completely on the school aid fund - unlike higher education schools, who are free to raise tuitions and ask for increases through ballot initiatives. The parent groups understand the need for reform in education funding, and the tough times th e state is facing due to the economic downturn. However, attempting to drive reform through cuts doesn’t work, and is an illogical tactic that disproportionately affects our children. Our state needs to invest in our children to secure our future.

Michigan PTA, Bully Police USA and parents from across the state will also be rallying for comprehensive anti-bullying legislation. Michigan is one of only 4 states that has no anti-bullying laws.

Bullies have been around for too long and we can no longer wait to intervene. Each month over 250,000 students report being physically attacked. This is an apalling number and calls for society and government to intervene decisively.

The parent coalition is asking for support from citizens across the State of Michigan, whether you are a parent, grandparent, teacher or simply concerned for Michigan’s future. Please join us on the steps of the Capitol Building in Lansing at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 12th to show your support for the children of Michigan.

Michigan PTA has over 65,000 volunteer members statewide who are part of 400 individual parent groups dedicated to the welfare of children in schools and communities. Michigan PTA has been a relevant resource for families and communities, and a champion for the education and well-being of every child for 93 years. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who is concerned about the education, health and welfare of children and youth. Additional information is available at

Contact Info:

Sandra York

Michigan PTA Executive Director

Office: 734-975-9500

Cell Phone: 734-657-5444


Mary DeYoung-Smith

Michigan PTA President



Michigan Parent Teacher Association

1390 Eisenhower Place, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108

Phone: 734-975-9500 - Fax: 734-677-2407

Web site: