Sunday, February 12, 2012

About that state budget proposal. . .

Bridge, News and Analysis from the Center for Michigan, reports that school funding is not actually increased, but cut:

Let’s start with the way funding for K-12 was described. The description in the budget document is that the recommendation for FY 2013 is a 2.5 percent increase, and the “planning budget” for 2014 is a 0.8 percent increase. The problem with that description is, when you add up what the figures for this year, for FY 2013 and for FY 2014, total spending for K-12 declines from $12.74 billion in 2012 to $12.69 billion in FY 2013 — and declines again to $12.6 billion in FY 2014.
So how is a recommendation to spend less an increase?
Read the rest here.  (The blog has some other interesting articles too.)

Steve Norton of Michigan Parents for Schools notes:
I'm doing a line by line comparison of the governor's budget proposal to the current year budget. Finding some interesting tidbits in the Senate Fiscal Agency summary of the current appropriations...

Want a gauge of what kind of funding might be necessary to offset the impact of poverty on our schools? The budget provides additional funding to each "at risk" student, defined as those who qualify for the Federal free lunch program. (Hold-harmless districts are not eligible for this, regardless.) The budget funds this with $318 million. Theoretically, districts could receive an extra 11.5% of their foundation allowance for every qualifying student.

BUT, fulling funding this program this year would cost nearly $497 million [yes, that is half a billion dollars] during the current fiscal year. So qualifying districts get a small fraction of the theoretical total. Yes, you read that right: giving districts an 11% bump just for kids who qualify for free (not reduced price) lunch would cost us half a billion dollars as a state. Not only does this say a lot about the number of children in poverty, but it puts in perspective the resources we would need to commit if we were truly trying to counter the impact of poverty. [The original post said $5 billion but in Steve's comments he notes that was based on a typo in the state budget--still , half a billion is a lot of money, and is less than is budgeted.]
 If you wish, you can join their facebook group here

Note also that the governor's proposal continues to fund colleges out of the School Aid Fund.

1 comment:

  1. And here is Christine Stead's take on it (read about best practices):