Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Interesting article in the Bridge Magazine about the effect of the schools of choice program, particularly in SE Michigan
Monday, June 3, 2013
When did parents become the enemy?
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Okemos Parents for Schools reports that 32 cyber schools are set to open in Michigan in 2013-14. These will operate throughout the state and will compete with our schools for dollars.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Yesterday, the State's leading economists agreed that there is an additional and unexpected $483 million surplus for the current fiscal year.
On the heels of the well-documented financial crises in Buena Vista, Pontiac and now Albion, we think there should be no debate: It's time to do the right thing and invest in education.
This money could go a long way to restoring the devastating cuts enacted by Lansing politicians over the past few years.
Governor Snyder talks a lot about Michigan being the "Comeback State", but with headlines detailing schools closing early and high schools ceasing to exist, it's clear that mantra will never be realized without our Governor and Legislative leadership finally funding schools.
Please TAKE ACTION to tell Lansing that it's time to do the right thing and invest in education!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
In case you're wondering what happens when a school district can't close its million dollar deficit . . . a little reminder of what EGRNow! is about
Monday, May 13, 2013
|A brief summary by Steve Norton, Michigan Parents for Schools|
|Why will funding roads take money from schools?|
So, what's up with roads and schools?
First off, let me thank the hundreds of you who have already contacted your State Representatives about road funding and the threat to our schools. Your message is important and is getting through.
Many people have asked for a bit more information about this whole deal - and I certainly understand, because it's somewhat complicated. I'm reprinting our earlier action alert below, but let me sketch out what is happening on this issue:
The Governor wants to find $1.2 billion to repair state roads. The Legislature would like to do this for the Governor, but a majority of legislators have signed "no new taxes" pledges to help them get elected. Since the state doesn't have $1.2 billion sitting around, that means finding new revenue. So, what to do?
Our lawmakers have been very clever - or sneaky, depending on your point of view. Right now, there are two kinds of taxes on fuel: "specific" taxes, like excise taxes, and the regular sales tax. The "specific" taxes on fuel are already legally earmarked for transportation, but they don't bring in enough money to fund the Governor's program. The regular sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel brings in some $1 billion, but that mostly goes to schools, with the rest going to local governments and the state general fund.
So, to find money for roads, lawmakers are trying to have their cake and eat it too: they want to increase the "specific" taxes on fuel that are legally earmarked for transportation so they generate the money the Governor wants. Then, they want to eliminate the sales tax on fuel, so that they can say they didn't raise taxes.
Where does this leave schools, which stand to lose some $750 million out of the deal (almost $500 per student)? Well, they're "working on it." Discussions have been going on for months about how to "replace" the revenue to schools and local government. So far, there are only some ideas floating around and no agreement on anything. The idea that seems to come up most often is to increase the sales tax from 6% to 7%, hopefully making up the difference to schools. Sounds good, right?
We have some real problems with this "arrangement":
This is nonsense, plain and simple. This whole exercise is simply to allow our state "leaders" to push responsibility for finding new revenue off onto the people. If we want to invest in our roads, we need to find a sensible way to fund that and not put our schools at risk. If we are going to change school funding, we need to address the fact that current funding levels simply are not adequate to deliver an excellent education to all our children.
Let your State Representative know today that you want them to stop playing games with school funding. They are covering themselves and putting our children at risk.
If you'd like to know more about these bills, you can read the non-partisan House Fiscal Agency analyses here and here. For a review of transportation funding and spending, read this for lots of detail.
Thanks for taking action to protect our public schools.
Michigan Parents for Schools