Dillon: House Republicans Still Refusing to Invest in Schools

Plan would restore $760M to K-12 education, prevent Governor's drastic cuts
Thursday, May 12, 2011

LANSING - In an effort to prevent the drastic cuts to K-12 education proposed in Governor Snyder’s budget, State Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) today supported a plan to restore $760 million in school aid funding by using a surplus in state revenue to ensure that Michigan’s schools have the resources to prepare our children for the jobs of the 21st century.

“I will not allow House Republicans to hide behind empty, recycled rhetoric about cost-saving measures to drown out the fact that this surplus makes their cuts to our schools completely unnecessary,” Dillon said. “They blocked our plan to protect schools and our children so that they could protect their enormous tax breaks for corporations. That should send a clear message to the people about where Republicans’ priorities are. This is not a complex concept - resources that belong to our schools should be used to educate our kids. Yet House Republicans continue to defy logic, ignore the people of Michigan and push an agenda that puts the success of our kids and our state at risk.”

Last week, House Republicans passed a budget plan that cuts $1.1 billion from K-12 funding to subsidize a massive corporate tax break. Under the plan, Michigan’s schools will see cuts of at least $426 per student with some school districts being hit with cuts as large as $1,558 per student.

Due to increased income and sales tax collections in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, the state has a surplus of nearly $800 million in the School Aid Fund, according to the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency. The plan that Dillon supported would use most of these funds to prevent deep budget cuts to education; however, House Republicans blocked it from receiving a vote or even discussion on the House Floor.