Release: Legislature Must Pass School Aid Budget
Tuesday, 06 October 2009 10:57
October 6, 2009
Gary G. Naeyaert
|LEGISLATURE MUST PASS SCHOOL AID BUDGET |
House and Senate urged to act immediately and use federal
funds to soften cuts without raising new taxes
Lansing, MI – One of the state's leading education advocacy organizations today urged the Michigan legislature to pass a full-year school aid budget before the end of the week.
"The 106,000 students enrolled in 240 public charter schools in the state can no longer wait for a school aid budget," said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA).
Given the failure of the legislature to pass a school aid budget before the fiscal year began on October 1, 2009, uncertainty and confusion is running through the education community. MAPSA noted that schools can't plan, hire teachers and staff or purchase necessary supplies because they don't know how much funding they'll be getting from the state, or when this funding will be coming.
"While there is plenty of blame to go around for this situation, it isn't productive to point fingers at any particular elected official. The harsh reality is that the state is in bad financial shape, and that a reducation in school funding will be necessary this year. While some are calling for new revenue or more taxes, there simply isn't support in legislature to ask citizens to pay more out of their pockets," Quisenberry added.
Quisenberry added that if a school aid budget isn't passed by the end of this week, it will be nearly impossible to process this month's state aid payments to schools. Yesterday the Michigan Department of Education announced it has been forced to immediately stop sending federal payments for meals, special education and Title I programs to schools all over the state.
"Our message to the legislature is clear. They should pass a full-year school aid budget this week, spend down federal stimulus funds to reduce this year's cut in per-pupil funding; and prioritize the per-pupil foundation grant to receive at least 90% of the school aid budget," Quisenberry concluded.