Saturday, April 13, 2013

In the unfortunate game of "Let's Make a Budget Deal," no matter which door you choose, community schools lose

(courtesy of Steve Norton, Michigan Parents for Schools)
Door # 1
Snyder Plan
Districts LOSE between $2 and $32 per pupil
Claimed 2% increase is mostly money taken from a "cookie jar" which had been diverted earlier when cuts were even bigger
Sneaks in parts of the "Oxford report" by forcing districts to pay for up to two online courses per semester with no say over the provider, what "successful completion" means, or what kind of credit to award.
Commits an extra $10 million to Michigan Virtual University, and basically makes an $8 million "gift" to the EAA to support "student centered learning"

Door #2
House Plan
Districts LOSE between $18 and $52 per pupil
Eliminates best practices grants, which went to most districts
Gives more money for performance and tech grants, which serve many fewer districts
Penalizes districts which recently opened their contracts
Cuts the increase to Great Start, making 4,200 fewer openings
Also sneaks in the "Oxford report" provisions

Door #3 
Senate Plan
Districts LOSE between $18 and $102 per pupil, on average
Eliminates help to local districts with their pension system costs, and uses a smaller amount to give a foundation increase to all districts - which is a windfall for charter schools, which mostly are not in the pension system (they'll get an increase)
Puts $22 million in an "education reserve fund" instead of giving it to our students
Eliminates both best practices and technology grants
Also sneaks in the "Oxford report" provisions
Total spending even less than the Governor!