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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Schools Dodge One Bullet But...

Michigan schools dodged one nasty bullet in the state legislature,
only to get hit with one of a lower caliber.
Last week house democrats and republicans steadfastly refused to
take a meat axe to the school aid budget by whacking $218 from every
school kid. That was the good news.
The bad news is the cut is now $165 per pupil when most of the
schools budgeted for $110.
Welcome to the continuing impact of Michigan's rotten economy
where costs continue to raise and incoming revenue continue a
disappearing act.
At first lawmakers thought about using federal stimulus money to
pay for the $53 dollar reduction for the schools. It was tempting but
in a rare exercise of looking to the future, they decided to hang onto
the federal bucks knowing that it will be used next year when things
could be even worse.
Then they decided to come up with some new dollars, not a tax
increase to get the job done. And it is significant that senate
republicans lead the way on that. It marked the first time that senate
GOPers acknowledged that this current budget could not be balanced with
cuts alone.
"Finally," the house democratic floor leader Rep. Kathy Angerer
observed as she embraced the senate republican revenue move.
While the schools are not happy with the cut, at least it avoids
l payless paydays and reopens the federal grant pipeline at the
same time.
As for the overall impact on the quality of education around
these parts, educators will make those decisions on where to cut in the
next few days. Needless to say, it will not be pretty as your little
Johnny and Janey are going to end up with more classmates.


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