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School aid fund should be off limits

April 27, 2011
The Daily Mining Gazette

Gov. Rick Snyder announced at his educational summit in East Lansing Monday the need to "reinvent education" in the state of Michigan.

If by "reinvent," he meant "harm the futures of Michigan's children," he hit the nail right on the head.

Snyder may say he is all for education in Michigan, but his actions and recent budget proposal speak more resoundingly than his words. His recent budget proposal includes, all in all, a $700-per-pupil cut for each Michigan school. The $900 million currently in the school aid fund would be robbed to help offset the massive - and additionally problematic - cuts Snyder also proposed for community colleges and universities.

Universities and community colleges are also vital to the future of this country, but they have various avenues for funding, including alumni and foundations, among others. K-12 districts, however, depend largely on the state for funding.

Balancing the budget is one thing, but this proposal will destroy the fabric of Michigan schools, locally and otherwise. Districts can say goodbye to having a general fund, and consolidation would be imminent.

Part of the lure and beauty of the Copper Country is a small-town feel, but our children will not have that feeling when crammed into a class with 40 others. The fine arts and sports may be eventual casualties, and students will likely be even less prepared for college - a statistic Snyder apparently wants to somehow raise while raiding schools' piggy banks.

If the governor truly desires a better future for Michigan, he needs to leave the school aid fund alone. Our children's futures depend on it.

 
 

 

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