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April 21 02:11 AM
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Children deserve a long-term solution for funding schools


To the Editor:

I commend State Representative Kevin Daley for wanting Michigan to be a recipient of President Obama's "Race to the Top" educational grant as he discussed in his 'Daley News' column in the December 2 issue. But, once again, here is a politician looking for a band-aid rather than a long-term solution to the public school funding problem.

For years the Lansing legislature has repeatedly cut per pupil funding to school districts. Yet, it continues to place more mandates on teachers and school districts. The state wants educational reform, but it is not willing to pay for it.

However, certain school districts in the state fair better than those here in the Tri-City area. You see, since the voters passed Proposal A in 1994 (Republican John Engler was in office), all school districts are issued the same amount of money per pupil from the state for educational programs. But, what many citizens don't realize is that Proposal A still allowed the very top districts (originally spending the most amount per pupil) in the state to continue to levy local taxes for educational programs. So, as the state continues to decrease the per-pupil amount dispersed to all districts, these

"out-of-formula" (as they were called) schools' budgets are not hit as hard. Why don't ALL Michigan children deserve an equally-funded education?

Michigan as an Obama grant recipient would only impose more mandates on districts, and the $600 million is really just a short-term solution to education funding. Mr. Daley, what happens when the grant money runs out? My guess would be more per-pupil spending cuts. It's time to focus on a long-term solution to the public school funding problem. Our children deserve it!

Deanna Knox, Dryden
December 10, 2009

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