Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flaws of School-Funding Proposal A Now Evident

One of the crowning achievements of John Engler's tenure of government is turning out to be as flawed as opponents said it was at the time it was passed.

Proposal A, which was supposed to reform school financing, did nothing of the sort.
Instead, it established an unstable funding mechanism for schools and perpetuated inequality among school districts.

That was evident this week when Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed some $50 million in state aid for some of the richest school districts in the state, to partly counteract a deficit in the school aid fund.

The fund, dependent on sales taxes, has seen its flow of revenues fall below projections as cautious consumers have stopped spending money. All school districts have been given a $165 per pupil cut in state aid and might get another cut before the end of the month.

As Republican lawmakers refuse to consider more revenue for the fund, Granholm decided to find some by taking $51.5 million in state aid from 39 of the richest school districts -- many of which are suburban Detroit districts represented by Republican lawmakers. Many of affected districts receive $4,000 per pupil more than do districts in Livingston County.

So much for Proposal A closing the funding gap among the state's richest and poorest districts.

Livingston County's Republican lawmakers have been silent on this issue. Do they agree with the cuts to the richest districts in order to spare deeper cuts for our schools here in Livingston County?

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