State Representative Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods) announced his disappointment today that Detroit Public Schools, Grosse Pointe Public Schools and Harper Woods School District will all be seeing foundation allowance increases of only $50 per pupil, while some cyber and charter schools in the state are seeing increases of up to $175. The small funding increases are part of the 2014-2015 School Aid Fund budget that was reported out of Conference Committee yesterday, and do little to make up for the more than $3 billion the Republican-led Legislature has cut from schools in the last three years.
“As a former educator, I know how important a quality education is to not only our students, but the future of our state,” said Banks. “And I also know that in order to provide a world-class education to our students, Michigan public schools need the funding necessary to purchase supplies and textbooks. Our schools have been robbed by the current Republican-led Legislature, and I am appalled that they did not do more in this budget to make up for what they have done.”
It has been noted that when taking into account the rate of inflation, the cost to educate a student in Michigan has increased by $66 since the last annual budget was released, meaning the $50 per-pupil increase is actually a decrease in actual funding. Banks said he has been contacted by the superintendents from both Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe schools, stating that the $50 “increase” is not nearly enough to provide their students with the education they deserve.
“I am deeply saddened by the current Legislature’s lack of care for students in our state,” Banks said. “Our schools keep taking hit after hit, especially in the Detroit area, and I will not stand by and watch as our kids lose out on the education they deserve. I will continue fighting for education in Michigan, and I look forward to the day all schools, and students, are treated equally.”