Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Legislative Committee Communication 5/8/13 (note additional house bills)

To:  EGRPS Families
From:  PTA Legislative Committee
Several legislative policies currently under consideration in Lansing could severely impact the school budget for East Grand Rapids Public Schools. The PTA Legislative Committee wants to make sure that EGRPS parents are aware of the proposals and what is at stake so that you can let our legislators know that this community supports its public schools and does not support policies that will decimate the programs that make EGRPS a successful district.
ISSUE: The School Aid Budget
Currently, with the three budget proposals (Governor’s, House’s, and Senate’s), local school districts can expect a net cut of between $2 and $52 per pupil. (Please click here for a detailed analysis by Michigan Parents for Schools.)  In addition to the proposed funding cuts, we are concerned about a provision that is common in all three of the school aid budgets.  This provision would require school districts to pay private online vendors, who are unaccountable for student academic performance, for up to two classes per year if students choose this option. This could potentially siphon more money away from EGRPS’ per pupil funding.
ISSUE: Roads vs. Schools (House Bills 4571, 4572, 4677 and 4539)
House Bills 4571, 4572, 4677, and 4539 would shift gas taxes, which benefit schools, to other fuel taxes that are exclusively committed to transportation. This would result in about an $800 million reduction in the School Aid Fund.  The effect of such a shift would be at least a $500 per pupil cut on top of the funding decreases we are already trying to manage. This would be devastating to EGRPS. Replacement revenue has not been guaranteed. (Click here and here for the House Fiscal Committee’s legislative analyses of these bills.)
If you share the same concerns, call and/or email:
·    Representative Pete MacGregor at (517) 373-0218,, and
·    Senator Mark Jansen at (517) 373-0797,, and
· Governor Snyder at (517) 373-3400,

Other state representatives’ information can be found here: 

Tell Them:
  1. To oppose any reduction to the total per pupil funding.  It is dishonest for legislators to claim that they are increasing per pupil funding while simultaneously reducing other types of aid that our public schools depend on, resulting, in fact, in a net loss to school budgets.
  2. To remove from the final school aid budget the provision requiring school districts to allow students to take two online classes per year.  This would siphon money from our schools, while giving it to private online vendors who are not held accountable for student academic performance, while at the same time holding our schools accountable for the students’ academic performance in those online classes.
  3. Not to resolve the road crisis on the backs of our schools. The legislature would be acting in a highly irresponsible way by removing the funding that gas taxes provide for schools without an assured funding replacement – one that does not rely on a ballot measure.
  4. To stop using money from the School Aid Fund for purposes other than K-12 funding.  The School Aid Fund has enough money to restore the per pupil funding cuts of the last several years and actually invest in K-12 public education, but not if those funds continue to be divided among other recipients, such as universities and community colleges.
The Legislative Committee wants to thank everyone who has made calls to our legislators in the past as our voices have been heard.  Thank you for your continued commitment to East Grand Rapids Public Schools!
Who We Are: As a committee of the EGRPS PTA Council, the Legislative Committee comprises parents, teachers, and Board of Education members.  The Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of Business, while not members of the committee, regularly attend our meetings so that we can share information and work collaboratively to set and advance legislative priorities that benefit EGRPS.  The Committee provides information to EGRPS families through the PTA Blasts and the blog; regularly communicates with state legislators and mobilizes other parents to do so; and supports similar grassroots parent advocacy groups in school districts across the state.