Democrats Tell Governor Snyder: School Cuts Have Consequences

Monday, September 19, 2011

LANSING- House and Senate Democrats today sent a message to Governor Rick Snyder that Michigan’s students are already feeling the impacts of his raid on the School Aid Fund by being forced into larger classes, offered fewer special education and after school programs, and given less of a chance to succeed in the classroom.

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislators cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the School Aid Fund to pay for a $1.8-billion tax break to big business without the promise of creating a single job for Michigan workers.

“Republicans stole millions of dollars from our schools so they could give a $1.8 billion tax break to corporate special interests like big banks, insurance companies and oil companies while our kids are going back to oversized classrooms, deteriorating schools, aging technology and out of date textbooks,” said Representative Mark Meadows (East Lansing). “The only way we can move Michigan’s economy forward is by providing our kids with the education they need to succeed in today’s economy.”

House and Senate Democrats said they have already been hearing about these disastrous consequences for Michigan’s K-12 education from families throughout Michigan, and are holding town hall meetings to give citizens the opportunity to speak up about how massive cuts to schools have affected their communities.

The Democrats are also urging the Legislature to vote on a constitutional amendment to prevent politicians from ever again raiding Michigan’s School Aid Fund.

“It is the best way to stop the continued decimation of education and send a very clear message to businesses and job creators: Michigan values education because we know that businesses value an educated and trained workforce,” said State Representative Barb Byrum (Onondaga). It’s time to put away partisan politics as usual, put our children first and pass this constitutional amendment to ensure Michigan schools stay strong today and into the future.

State Representative Charles Smiley (Burton) said: “Unless we right the ship and stop robbing from our kids the skills they need to compete, businesses will continue to bypass Michigan in favor of states and countries with more educated workforces. We’ve heard from thousands of Michigan residents who have all said the same thing: Protect our schools. The best way to stop politicians from threatening our children’s future is to make it impossible for them to raid school funds to balance the budget.”