Monday, February 20, 2012

Michigan PTA Advocacy Update


February 20, 2012
Gov. Snyder’s Budget Proposal 2012
Governor Snyder released his proposed state budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012.  Over the next few months, the state legislature will make decisions on a final budget.  Michigan PTA urges our members to discuss with their state legislators expenditures that affect children.
The Governor maintained the previous years’ per-pupil foundation allowance, of a minimum of $6,846; this is down over $400 per pupil since fiscal year 2010.  Continuing these deep cuts to K-12 schools has a negative impact on the classroom. Michigan PTA strongly believes these cuts must be restored. 
Governor Snyder is proposing $190 million for incentives to school districts who meet certain criteria:
  • Improved student performance in reading and math in 3rd through 8th grades, and four-year improvements in all tested subjects in high school.  ($100 maximum per pupil.)
  • Meeting 5 of these 6 best-practices ($75 maximum per pupil):
    • Publishing a dashboard of outcomes
    • Serving as a policyholder for health benefits
    • Participation in schools of choice
    • Monitoring student growth in each subject area at least twice a year
    • Offering dual enrollment, Advanced Placement courses, offering post-secondary learning opportunities
    • Offering online or blended learning
Governor Snyder asks to maintain funding for early childhood education, funding for at-risk students, and funding programs to improve academic achievement and reduce drop-out rates.  However, there is a decrease in funding to lower class sizes in high-poverty schools.  Michigan PTA supports equitable funding for all school districts. 
The governor’s budget proposes expanding funding in Medicaid and MIChild to include treatment of autism spectrum disorders for children under age 6, and expanding the Healthy Kids Dental program. The budget maintains funding for child and adolescent health centers, and hearing and vision screenings. Michigan PTA applauds Governor Snyder for this commitment to the health of Michigan ’s children.    
There are additional areas of concern which will negatively impact education funding:
  • An increase in mandatory contributions to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System will increase costs to local school districts. 
  • Michigan PTA supports all day kindergarten.  However, Governor Snyder’s budget does not provide additional funding for implementation.  School districts will incur increased costs switching from ½ day to full day kindergarten.  We urge the Governor and the Legislature to provide additional funding to support this great initiative.
ACTION REQUIRED:  Over the next two months, contact your state senator and state representative to share your concerns.  Governor Snyder’s proposed incentives are important, but K-12 schools need to have funding restored. You have surely noticed the impact the cuts to education have had in your child’s school; relate your experiences with your legislators.  It is imperative that our legislators know we expect them to ensure that every child in Michigan has the opportunity for a quality education.  Their futures, and ours, depend on it!

Michigan Parent Teacher Association 
1390 Eisenhower Place, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
Phone: 734-975-9500 - Fax: 734-677-2407
Web site: