Rep. Darany Hears from Students, Residents on School Cuts

Town hall meeting gives community a voice in education funding debate
Monday, September 19, 2011

DEARBORN - State Representative George T. Darany (Dearborn) held a town hall meeting today to allow students, teachers and parents to ask questions, tell their stories and voice their concerns over the Governor and legislative Republicans’ recent cuts to our public schools. The event was part of a series of planned town halls across the state by House Democrats.

“It was great to see so many Dearborn students, parents and school employees come out today and voice their concerns over the funding cuts to our schools,” said Darany. “We want our kids to be able to compete for the best jobs when they get out of school. But the state needs to give our kids the support to be competitive in the 21st century economy. At a time when the School Aid Fund would have had a surplus, that money would have been going towards our children’s education, instead of cutting it.”

Under current estimates, the School Aid Fund would have posted an estimated surplus of $900 million for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. But due to the Governor’s new corporate tax plan - which granted major corporations a $1.8 billion tax cut - that money has been taken to offset the revenue lost. Instead of increasing school funding this year, districts saw a cut of $470 or more in per-pupil support from the state.

“For as much as we talk about how cuts will hurt our children, their voice and perspective is often not present during the debate,” said Darany. “That’s why it was so helpful to be able to speak with them directly today, to get their views on the issue so that I can make their voice stronger in Lansing. For all the talk of giving our children a chance at better job prospects and a better life, the Legislature has certainly undermined that effort by asking our children to do more with less. I know I will be doing all I can in the future to make sure these cuts don’t happen again and that this funding is restored.”

In addition to hosting town halls around the state, the House Democrats have created a website,www.FightSchoolCuts.com, where residents can find their local school to see the amount of funding they’re losing. Residents may also sign a petition opposing the cuts and tell their personal story of how the cuts are affecting their family and community.