January 18, 2007

Schools Need Your Help!

The following information comes to us from the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals. Most organizations in the state that are focused on education will be sending out similar information in the coming days. What it comes down to is that our state's economy is in DEEP trouble (RED TROUBLE) and schools (THUS CHILDREN) will come out on the short end of funding. Yes, there are revenue problems. We need your help. I did not pen the following information but Rick's Writing Again does indeed endorse the message. Help spread it!

The revenue estimating conference has taken place and the revenue picture for schools is officially bleak.

After estimating the School Aid revenue shortfall from past and current budget years and taking other expenditures into consideration, even with a $65 million gain due to the loss of pupils, the School Aid fund is short $377 million. This could wipe out the increase of $210 appropriated for the current budget year.

There are different ways a reduction could take place such as an executive order, a proration or a negative supplemental. The soonest school districts would see a change would likely be in the March state aid payment. The amount of the reduction is still up in the air and this is where you come in.

Now is the time to contact your senator, representative and the governor via a phone call, fax, email or letter. Let him or her know the following:

Unstable schools cannot improve student performance.

Unstable funding equals unstable schools.

Schools need them to stop the one-time fixes. Not knowing from year to year how much a school district is going to have to operate creates instability. We cannot prepare our children for a global economy if we are reducing or cutting programs halfway through the year.

The problem needs to be fixed NOW! We are halfway through the school year and budgets were set almost a year ago. A proration is simply not acceptable.

Phone numbers, addresses, etc. can be found at www.legislature.mi.gov. Scroll down to "Related Sites" and click on House or Senate.

If you have parent groups that could use this information and would make a legislative contact, please feel free to pass this along. It is crucial that you make a timely contact within the next week or so. You can help impact the size of the cut and hopefully play a role in the future of education funding.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

No comments: