Republicans propose late year cut for schools, plus many more cuts

The Record-Eagle reports that last night the Republican controlled Senate passed a $34-per-student midyear cut for K-12 schools, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in reductions to local governments, health care and other programs.

“We should be thinking about we can invest in public education, not how we can take money away from kids in public education,” said Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor.

Republicans countered that the $34 per-student cut is a modest amount for schools to have to make up in the two months remaining in the school year and that a tax increase this budget year is unacceptable. Some districts have warned they’ll have to lay off teachers if their state aid is cut at this point in the school year.

For a local take on this “modest cut” (which comes at a point where there are 3 months or less remaining and most money has been spent), here are our rough calculations:

  • $17,068 for Leland
  • $31,178 for Suttons Bay
  • $365,000 for Traverse City

Note that Glen Lake & Northport are out of formula and as such, I believe they are unaffected by these cuts. Sorry there’s no pretty picture with this … as a school board member I can’t see much attractive in this.

5 replies
  1. Susan Och
    Susan Och says:

    Andy, is this the Republican’s alternative to the 2 cent tax on services? Or is the alternative $34 per student now and more cuts next year?

    Would the services tax mean no cuts to school funding?

  2. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    This is what the Senate Republicans are talking about for this year, Susan. I have heard cuts as high as $50 for this year. If the state cannot align revenues and expenditures, I would expect more cuts for the next fiscal year.

  3. jaydee
    jaydee says:

    No doubt Michigan is in financial distress. And neither party in Lansing ever gets real about managing the state budget.

    For instance,with respects to proposed budget cuts: It would be a mere pittance, I know, but how about taking all those state cars away from our supreme court and appellate judges? (and other employees who don’t need this perk.) A cost of over $350,000 for the judges, and that probably doesn’t include the costs to the state of insuring and maintaining this fleet. Let them practice corporate law if they want those perks. And let the legislators examine their own expenses…what does it cost us as taxpayers when these folks get elected?

  4. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    I think that a big part of the problem is that our modern political discourse is all about hiding from the world.

    We have no idea what will be done to fix Michigan’s budget because we refuse to really look at the whole picture and address root causes like the skyrocketing cost of pensions and insurance. I am certainly NOT advocating cutting pensions and such – just saying that we need to recognize that these increasing costs are major drivers of our fiscal troubles.

    Likewise, we have no idea to what extent global warming will affect us because we can’t get beyond how much power Al Gore’s house consumes and other mindless non-issues.

    Until we take the time to be honest with ourselves and address the real challenges we face in energy, geopolitics, food, education and health care we will constantly be in crisis mode.

    Aren’t we big enough boys and girls to take an honest and dispassionate look at our world? I hope so because I have a little boy and girl who are tired of people looking at them and saying “You’ll have a lot to fix when you get big.”

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