Sunday, May 20, 2012

EGRPS PTA Legislative Committee Update 5-20-12

      Center for Michigan conversation was a success. Over 20 people came to give
their opinions about education in Michigan. Watch the blog for a link to another
talk in Grand Rapids co-sponsored by Michigan Radio sometime this summer.
      Retirement costs are still the most crippling expense in our budget and our school board has no control over it.   This school year almost $0.25 of every salary dollar goes back to Lansing to cover retirement costs. Next year this cost is predicted to be $0.27.   The Legislature’s solution to this problem initially was too severe, threatening massive teacher retirements. The governor and Legislature have lessened the changes, staving off massive retirements.  We will know more over the summer.  We are lucky to have Kevin Phillips, our Assistant Superintendent of Business, join the statewide board overseeing these changes.
      State Revenue Conference was May 16.  The state may have more money in the School Aid Fund than anticipated last January.  This may not result in more money to schools, however, because community colleges and universities are still funded through this fund.  In any event, the legislature and governor plan to have the School Aid Budget finished by June 1 which will be advantageous for schools which will not have to borrow money to make their payroll and bills like in previous years.
      All Day Kindergarten was in all three budgets, the House, Senate and Governor’s.  It will be in the compromise budget and all schools will be coping with this cut.  It will cost our district approximately $450,000 to ramp up for all day kindergarten.  Watch the to see how we will cope.  Also, the Kindergarten start date legislation has passed and will be phased in over 3 years starting 2013/14.
·         Cyber school legislation passed-we don’t know what the economic impact will beover the next few years.