LANSING — Tonight, the Michigan House rushed through legislation that will divert more than $140 million dollars away from the school aid fund in the first year. The move comes in the wake of numerous non-partisan reports that found that Michigan schools are underfunded by nearly $2,000 per pupil. The bill, HB 4991, passed without any Democrat support. In response, state Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) issued the following statement:

“During this lame duck session the legislative majority seems hell-bent on racing to the bottom of every standard they can; ethics, accountability, transparency, and now education. While funding for environmental clean-up programs is needed, we should not be robbing the futures of our children to pay for them.  This eleventh-hour ransacking of the School Aid Fund is born not out of necessity, but out of backdoor bargaining between a lame duck governor and outgoing Republican leadership. On top of it, they used a different bill on a separate topic that was introduced earlier this legislative session, gutted it and shoved it full of school-aid-fund raiding dreck that is nothing more than a shell game, one which will cost the school districts of House District 12 nearly $3 million over the course of two years. Choosing to steal from our children for any reason is always bad for Michigan, but to do so now, at the end of session, simply because the legislative majority has run out of time to develop other options, is disgraceful.”