Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Governor's FY 2015-2016 Budget: What Does All This Mean To You?

This is a guest post by A3 Teacher:

As the State lays out its K-12 budget for the 2015-16 school year, there are some interesting things to note.  

First, Governor Snyder is claiming a $75 per pupil increase across the board for all schools.  

While on the surface this seems wonderful, the reality for some school districts is that this will result in a net loss.  While increasing the per pupil amount, other aspects of funding are being reduced or disappearing (for example the “best practices” incentive and performance incentive). 

 According to MLive’s article and database, Ann Arbor Public Schools would stand to lose $55 per pupil, Ypsilanti Community School would stand to gain $176 per pupil, Saline Area Schools would lose $10 per pupil, Dexter Community Schools would lose $44 per pupil, Chelsea would gain $28 per pupil, and Whitmore Lake would gain $25 per pupil.

[Ed. Note: Here is a nice piece about the implications of this so-called increase for one school district, written by the Superintendent of the Godfrey-Lee Public Schools.]

Now for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, there is a surplus in the K-12 School Aid Fund to the tune of $284.4 million; conversely the General State Budget is short $454 million.  Right now the Michigan legislature is figuring out ways to take that K-12 surplus to pay for our general fund shortfall. 

Wouldn’t it make sense that money allocated for K-12 education should go towards education?  

A surplus in the K-12 School Aid Fund should be reinvested in students, not used to pay a general fund deficit.  

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