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MASA, MASB Urge ‘No’ Vote on 2014-2015 School Aid Budget

The Michigan Association of School Administrators and Michigan Association of School Boards are encouraging legislators to vote “no” on Senate Bill 775, the 2014-2015 School Aid Budget, which fails to adequately invest in public education.

SB 775 gives even less money to schools than Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal. Nearly 150 schools in the state would receive an increase of only $50 per pupil, which is not enough to prevent teacher layoffs and program cuts. Retirement costs alone for next year are increasing by $60 per student for school districts around the state.

The proposal would also increase funds above certain traditional schools by $125 per student for charter and cyber schools.

“The assault on public education must stop immediately,” said William Mayes, MASA Executive Director. “Without a serious investment in our public schools, we will see larger classroom sizes, more program cuts and a drop in student achievement. If the Legislature is serious about wanting local neighborhoods to thrive, investing in education rather than taking money and resources away would be a good start.”

“This bill is nothing more than political posturing at the expense of kids,” said Kathy Hayes, MASB Executive Director. “The $50 increase does nothing to invest in schools and this budget further ties the hands of school boards, administrators and teachers. Our lawmakers need to start getting serious about investing in the future of our state to ensure we attract companies with well-paying jobs and retain young talent.”

Some districts will receive a larger increase than others, which would treat children in urban school districts unfairly.

“This budget harms children in many of our urban districts across the state,” said Michael Rice, Superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools. “Many districts that have a revenue base slightly above the foundation allowance minimum have student needs that are far, far above the average needs in the state. The students in these districts will be particularly harmed if this budget passes.”