News From AFT Michigan

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012

Contact: David Hecker, (313) 204-6115,

Gov. Snyder today unveiled his budget, in which he proposed tying education funding to specific benchmarks. We need to fully restore the drastic cuts to our PreK-12 schools, community colleges, and universities, not create new hoops for them to jump through. Even if they were not incentive-based, the funding levels announced by the Governor today do not come close to filling the huge hole created by last year’s cuts:

  • Our PreK-12 schools would see only about $170 of the $470/per student cut from last year restored (even if they meet all of the specified criteria).
  • The potential increase for community colleges is a range beginning at 1.3%, nowhere near enough to cope with increasing student needs during this economy.
  • Our universities—cut by 15% last year—could make up only a small portion of this gap (ranging from less than 1% at Wayne State to 7.6% at Grand Valley) through an experimental funding formula that has already been tried and abandoned by 14 other states.

AFT Michigan shares the goal of helping more students to succeed, but more mandates from Lansing that have failed in other states is not the way to achieve it. Our communities haven’t forgotten that Lansing politicians slashed $1 billion and hiked taxes on retirees’ pensions in order to pay for a $1.8 billion tax cut for big corporations. We need real investment in our future, and this budget falls fall short of restoring essential funding to our students and teachers.

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