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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, March 25, 2011

Higher Ed Apathy

Apathy is alive and well in the ranks of college students. Only
about 300 bothered to show up for a demonstration on the capitol steps
to protest the governor's proposed 22% slice in state support for
higher ed.
It was admirable that they did demonstrate but a tour de force it
was not and it pretty much reflects the lack of political interest by
our future leaders.
The ones who where there were engaged and passionate about the
impact the cuts would have as tuition will go up.
"To cut education is sickening to me. It's gross. It's really
sad that you (referring to the governor) would do that to the people,"
lamented Saginaw Valley student Adrian Muntz.
"I sure hope we can change some minds in there," an optimistic
student Tim Bertrand added.
Here's the harsh reality. Even if 20,000 were there, no minds
were changed.
The GOP senator who chairs the higher ed budget committee is on
board with the governor's 22% even though she has the power to lower
the amount.
Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker was asked if that meant the kids were
stuck with the cut? "Those are your words," she deflected the question.
Cardi DeMonico who heads the student association that sponsored
the event did not mince his words. On one hand the governor professes
to be for higher ed, but on that other he's cutting it, so does that
make him slightly hypocritical?
"I would say so," answers Mr. DeMonico.
Perhaps the students were naïve to think they could make a
difference. This will now become part of their education reflects the
President of MSU.
Dr. Lou Anna Simon thanks for them for being active but in this
instance, the lesson deals with counting votes and the students don't
have enough to make a difference.
Welcome to the real world of politics where just because you show
up, does not mean you will win.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If education is sooooooo important to jobs and jobs are #1, why are Snyder and the tea baggers destroying K-12 schools, pricing 4 year degrees even further out of reach, AND holding the community colleges harmless AND giving them K-12s money to boot?

The community colleges are more union and expensive than K-12. They have lots of way to earn revenue that K-12 can't. Could it be that he's siphoning off even more taxpayer money to pay for his economic garden's training needs?

Here are the facts of what Herr Snyder and the tea baggers are doing to one of Michigan's best public schools. I deleted their name because in this insane state, who knows.

Return on YOUR investment

The XXX School District is very proud of our financial reputation. We are rated AA by Standard and Poor’s and an audit this year by Plante Moran gave the highest possible rating to the district’s stewardship of your tax dollars. We have carefully planned and made significant reductions to maintain our fiscal health. Since 2002, we have reduced expenditures by nearly $40 million from the XXX budget, all while the true return on your investment—the achievement of our students—continues to soar. We are very proud of the fact that our students excel in every measurable way. Most recently, XXX was named to the select AP Achievement List for the number students who take AP coursework and earn high scores on AP tests. Our teachers, who are truly the best of the best, challenge our students to reach higher and achieve more every day. This semester alone brings many examples: in the past three months, our students have performed at Carnegie Hall, solved complex problems in Harvard’s international mathematics challenge and sent experiments into space through the prestigious NASA Dime competition. I am very glad to be superintendent of a district where expectations are high and we have so many people willing to work collaboratively to achieve them.

March 27, 2011 at 8:39 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2011-2012 Budget Proposed by Governor Snyder
Governor Rick Snyder’s budget proposal will have a devastating effect on public education in our state. He proposes to take $900 million dollars from the School Aid Fund, traditionally used only for K-12 education, and use it to fund higher education. This will result in a $470 per pupil reduction in the foundation allowance while at the same time, we are forced to pay a steep increase in state mandated retirement costs equating to another $230 per pupil. Coupled with increased staffing costs for health insurance and steps, the collective impact of these initiatives equals more than $1000 per student, or about $12,900,000.00 in revenue reductions for the XXX School District. This dollar amount equates to 10% of the District’s budget.

Based on the information that is coming out of the Governor’s office, taxpayers in Michigan could easily be under the assumption that school districts have not done what they needed to do to balance their budgets. In the XXX School District, nothing could be further from the truth. For example:

- $39.3 million reduction in expenses in the past nine years
- Privatized custodial, transportation and food service for $3.1 million in annual savings
- Compensation reductions from administrative and non-represented employees
- Reductions in staff equaling 59.4 FTE in 2010-2012 alone
- $18.6 million spent from fund equity

March 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And last but not least, sympathy from Aljazeera: US Waking up to Class Warfare

A popular item is going around in emails and Facebook pages among the people who are in solidarity with the workers protesting against anti-labour legislation in Wisconsin: A CEO, a union worker and a Tea Partier (a member of the emerging right-wing political movement) are at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 and says to the Tea Partier: "Keep an eye on that union guy, he wants your cookie."

March 27, 2011 at 8:42 AM 

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