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William H. Mayes, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, blasted lawmakers for misrepresenting budget cuts to schools. In an April 19 op-ed to editors across Michigan, Mayes wrote:
I grew up in Michigan’s thumb, part of a family that taught me always to tell the truth. It’s what we still teach Michigan’s school children today. I wish Lansing’s leaders would head back to the classroom for review.
It’s time Lansing tells the truth about school budget cuts, which will raid voter-designated K-12 dollars, causing reductions to districts that total at least $700 per student. This is far greater than the $470-cut lawmakers keep repeating. In fact, it is the largest proposed cuts to education by any governor or legislator in history!
Coming as it does after a decade of school funding deductions and skyrocketing fixed costs, this cut will mean larger class sizes, fewer teachers and fewer opportunities to close achievement gaps for kids. How does that help the economy? Local school leaders will not be able to avoid deep cuts, but Lansing can.
It’s time Lansing tells the truth about where the money is going. Legislators want you to think school aid money is going to support universities and community colleges—but it isn’t. Almost $900 million is being raided from the school aid fund, but legislators are sneaking the money out the back doors of colleges and universities to prop up general fund programs like prisons. That isn’t what voters intended when they passed Proposal A, and it’s exactly what happens with lottery money.
It’s time Lansing tells the truth about the “shared sacrifice” Governor Snyder champions. Asking everyone to pitch in to help fill a huge budget gap sounds like a great idea—but that isn’t what’s happening! The Governor’s proposed budget cuts only 12 of Michigan’s 22 budgets. The rest are protected. Eight budgets even show increases! How is that shared sacrifice?
It’s time for Lansing to tell the truth about our investment in education and stop the raid on the school aid fund. Visit www.gomasa.org/stop-the-raid to learn more.
|Op-Ed Mayes-Lansing leaders need lessons in truth-telling.pdf||83.02 KB|