Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More per-pupil cuts proposed! Call legislators today!

Tell Representative MacGregor to vote NO on HB 4227 until K-12 is funded at least at current levels!

See the action alert from the Michigan Association of School Boards below: 

The House K12 subcommittee on appropriations will be voting on HB 4227 Tuesday morning with the full House expected to vote on it later this week.  This bill is the House’s recommendation for the new school aid act that will fund schools for the 2013-14 school year.  Although it may seem early in the process, this will be only time the full House will vote on the school aid act until final passage of a bill in late May.  If we have any ability to impact what this bill will look like, and in turn funding for schools next year, this is the time to act.  Please take the time to contact your legislator through the evocate system and let them know your thoughts.
We have all heard about the 2% increase that you are supposedly getting from the state and that is the first myth you must dispel.  Even though we are appreciative of the total increase in spending, all of that is going to pay down the retirement rate for next year and for an expansion of early childhood programs.  Every district in this state will see a reduction in per pupil discretionary funding.  This is a difficult concept for voters to understand as they have already read about the “2% increase.”  The House should not pass a bill that does not keep you at this year’s funding level. 
We are also seeing a change in categorical funding in the House version, which while not specifically a problem, looks like we are going to a more grant funded basis that requires staff time and expertise to access rather than general categoricals.  This will likely exacerbate the funding disparity for some districts from this year to next.  If the amount of foundation money a district is receiving remains at last year's level these changes are not a problem, but if not, again it sets up the public to not understand what is happening.
At these reduced funding levels you will continue to reduce programs and lay off staff while the public thinks you are better off this year.  Your costs continue to go up while revenue continues to go down or be placed in projects that are legislative initiative rather than locally driven programs.
Please contact your legislators and tell them to vote NO on HB 4227 until schools are funded at current levels.