Irwin: Snyder's Rhetoric Missing Some Facts on School Funding

Additional School Aid funding isn't as advertised
Monday, February 13, 2012

LANSING - State Representative Jeff Irwin (Ann Arbor), today commented on Governor Snyder’s proposed executive budget saying that there may be a few facts missing with regard to the School Aid Fund projections.

“Governor Snyder’s rosy picture of this year’s budget may actually contain a few thorns,” said Irwin. “The Governor has placed a low priority on education and we see it again with this budget proposal. Unfortunately, the Governor has proposed no increase to the per pupil allotment of $6,846 per pupil and a net reduction of $19.7 million in state spending.”

In fact, the House Fiscal Agency projects there will be a decrease in total state spending of $19.7 million.

“It’s an election year and the Governor is trying to create the impression that education funding is increasing. Unfortunately that is not true. The reality is on the heels of the biggest education cut in Michigan’s history, this year’s budget is essentially flat,” continued Irwin. “Last year we saw an unprecedented raid on school funding with over $1 billion being diverted from our schools to pay for a business tax break.”

The Republican - backed budget cuts last year created increased class sizes, along with less money for textbooks and other classroom materials, making it hard to attract the best teachers to prepare our students to compete for jobs of the future.