House Republicans Reject Plan To Restore $270M in School Funding

House Dems' plan would use surplus in School Aid Fund to protect schools, children
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LANSING - House Democrats today blasted House Republicans for blocking legislation that would restore $270 million in current school funding to help ease the deep cuts to education proposed in the Governor’s budget. These cuts could seriously impact Michigan’s ability to prepare children for future jobs.

“We need to restore education funding now instead of using it to finance Governor Snyder’s massive business tax cut next year,” said State Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), sponsor of the plan. “There is more than enough money in the balance sheet at the end of the fiscal year to restore these cuts that have hampered our students for the past two years; cuts which would never have passed had lawmakers expected such a surplus. An overwhelming majority of Michigan’s residents know that this vital school funding should go toward our children’s education, not to subsidize tax cuts for corporations. It’s too bad House Republicans don’t agree.”

Dillon’s plan would restore a previous $270 million cut by using a surplus in the School Aid Fund due to increased state revenue and savings in the current year’s budget. It is estimated that there will be a balance of $507 million in the School Aid Fund at the end of the current fiscal year, according to the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency.

House Republicans also rejected a plan introduced by State RepresentativeLisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) to restore $25 million to current funding for 20j schools.

“I’m disgusted that House leadership is determined to deny our children and our schools the funding that is rightfully theirs,” Brown said. “Many 20j schools in Oakland County and across the state suffer deep cuts year after year, and if there’s funding available right now, then they deserve to have their funding restored. It’s time for Lansing to get its priorities straight and make sure that our kids have the ability to get the quality education they need to compete for 21st century jobs. As a mother of three boys in our public schools, I am outraged that House leadership is more concerned about tax breaks for big businesses than they are in investing in our children and our future.”