Lawmakers Moving to Strip Millions in Funding from Schools in Latest Attack on Public Education
LANSING — In a lame duck session like no other, lawmakers have been taking action on a number of bills that would have a lasting, damaging effect on Michigan’s public education system. The latest, a series of moves designed to change how Michigan allocates its sales & income tax dollars, would result in Michigan’s School Aid Fund losing untold millions of dollars annually and force further, devastating cuts to K-12 schools across Michigan.
“At a time in which educators and the business community have come to a consensus that Michigan isn’t adequately funding its K-12 schools as-is, the idea that lawmakers would be moving to take even more money out of the School Aid Fund is rather unbelievable,” said Eve Kaltz, Secretary/Treasurer of the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education (TCA) & Superintendent of Center Line Schools. “I can’t imagine there’s anyone in Michigan that doesn’t agree we need to invest more in fixing our roads, but asking schools to pay for that is not what any educator, parent or student I know believes is the right way to do that.”
The moves under consideration would permanently reduce the portion of Michigan’s income taxes that it allocates to the School Aid Fund in order to fund road repairs. While lawmakers are looking to claim the School Aid Fund will receive new funding from online sales taxes to mitigate this shift in funds, a portion of all sales tax revenues are already directed to the school aid fund and an increase in online sales taxes collected will do little to make up for the loss in funds they are currently discussing.
“In the same lame duck session in which legislators are once again trying to move the goalposts for schools with a new, misguided letter grading system, they’re also trying to take away the resources that actually help us give our students the opportunities they deserve inside classrooms across Michigan,” said Dr. George Heitsch, TCA President & Superintendent of Farmington Schools. “I’ll say again what educators have been telling this legislature for weeks now: go home. The rushed nature of lame duck is absolutely the wrong time to even be considering this type of fundamental change to the resources K-12 schools rely on.”
The Tri-County Alliance for Public Education is a coalition of education leaders committed to fighting for strong K-12 schools across Michigan. Comprised of Superintendents from every district in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, they are collectively responsible for educating over 500,000 students.