In 2011, Gov. Snyder and the Republican majority in the state Legislature raided the School Aid Fund and slashed school funding, opting to give a $1.8 billion tax break to CEOs and corporations. When all was said and done, they cut school funding by almost a billion dollars, hurting our kids and making Michigan less competitive in a global, knowledge-based economy. Gov. Snyder told us it was about “shared sacrifice,” and there simply wasn’t enough money to go around.
Yesterday, however, Michigan got some good news – the Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA) estimated a revenue surplus of $262 million in fiscal year 2011 and up to an estimated $1 billon in 2012. Gov. Snyder wants to sit on the surplus, calling it “premature” to invest it.
We all should be concerned with the quality of education our kids are receiving. Cuts to K-12 education have translated into larger class sizes and fewer academic offerings for Michigan’s students, even as schools across the state already are facing very difficult challenges. We need to start investing in public education in Michigan, and we can start right now by using this budget surplus to fund our schools.
We need a stronger – not weaker – public education system in Michigan. Make your voice heard by signing our petition telling Gov. Snyder to restore funding to Michigan’s School Aid Fund.