Smiley: Restore School Funding, Prevent Future Raids by Lansing

State cuts force local schools to make decisions that hurt our children's education
Monday, June 27, 2011

LANSING - State Representative Charles Smiley (Burton) today called on Governor Snyder and legislative Republicans to restore the devastating budget cuts to Michigan’s schools and protect the state’s School Aid Fund from unnecessary raids in the future.

“Our residents have said loud and clear that they do not want the budget balanced on the backs of our children,” said Smiley, who held an Education Task Force Meeting locally to get residents’ input on the Governor’s cuts. “It is deplorable that the Governor and legislative Republicans refused to listen to the people, choosing to divert state funding meant for classrooms to giant corporations instead. We are seeing the devastating effects of these drastic, unnecessary cuts now as our schools are forced to lay off teachers, increase class sizes and eliminate vital services. There is no avoiding the fact that the Governor’s cuts will severely affect the quality of our children’s education.”

Legislative Republicans and Governor Snyder rushed through a state budget that raided hundreds of millions of dollars from the School Aid Fund to subsidize an 82 percent tax break for corporations, resulting in a $470 per-pupil cut. Considering that the School Aid Fund had a $900 million surplus, the severe cuts were completely unnecessary. As school districts finalize their budgets for the upcoming year, we are seeing what impact these cuts, the largest in two decades, will have on the classrooms and the quality of our children’s education.

“These extreme cuts to education will hurt the economic recovery that has started to take hold in Michigan, especially in the auto industry - if our schools can’t produce a world-class workforce, employers have plenty of other places to go,” Smiley said. “I’m a former autoworker, and I want to make sure that Michigan has the talented workers we need to remain a leader in the auto industry and other sectors that will create jobs for our residents.”

Smiley also encourage residents to visit www.fightschoolcuts.com and sign a petition to help rally support for our kids, as well as tell their story about how these education cuts will affect their children in their local schools.