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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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

$700 and Counting

A $700 cut per kid in every Michigan classroom. Pretty soon,
we'll be talking about some real money here.
Gov. Rick Snyder has challenged the state's 500 or so school
districts to find the money to replace the $470 per pupil slice he
proposed in his new budget. He believes there are employee concessions
just sitting out there ready to be squeezed.
"All the low hanging fruit has been picked and eaten," counters
David Martell who runs the association of bean counters who work in the
local schools.
"My membership is stunned," he reports because the actual cut is
closer to $700 not $470.
Due to a $230 increase in the retirement costs districts must
cough up each year, you combine the two figures and you get to the $700
number which would be unprecedented.
Martell reports there are currently about 40 districts that are
flirting with no money in their rainy day funds known as fund equity.
If the $700 stands, and he hopes somehow it will not, that number could
skyrocket to about 160.
"We have a number of districts lined up at the cliff and some
are going over now, but a lot more will be going over, or closer to the
cliff if this goes through," he warns anybody who will listen.
Despite that figure the state school superintendent has
reassured nervous parents that no school will go into bankruptcy. They
must find a way to stay out of the red, he advises.
Easier said than done, the education lobby shouts back.
Lawmakers have the option to find ways to lower that $700
figure. But no one has proposed any at this read.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds about the same as Wisconsin. Perhaps they all have the same GOP hymnal??

March 2, 2011 at 9:49 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. The Nerd is going a different route than Wisconsin. He's cutting the foundation grant and forcing the locals to make the necessary cuts themselves, rather than just doing it all top down.

I'd rather do it like Wisconsin, because it gets it over with quicker, if bloodier. Just get it all over with at once, in the state capital.

March 2, 2011 at 11:46 AM 

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