MARQUETTE – State Representative Steven Lindberg (Marquette) was joined by House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel (Mt. Morris Township), Democratic Floor Leader Kate Segal (Battle Creek), and numerous Democratic State Representatives from across Michigan today as he hosted a question and answer session with various residents and members of the media. The purpose of the event was to hear residents’ thoughts and concerns on recent Republican cuts to school funding and answer any questions.

“I am happy that my colleagues could join me today to meet with my constituents and hear their thoughts and the serious concerns they have about the recent Republican cuts to our schools,” Lindberg said. “As the sole U.P. voice in my caucus, I advocate tirelessly on behalf of our interests and especially our schools, but it is always helpful for House Democratic leadership to hear directly from the people I represent.”

The event was held at Graveraet Middle School in Marquette. Several State Representatives attended to meet with local residents and talk about the Governor’s funding cuts that were enacted this spring.

“Residents here in the Upper Peninsula share the same concerns of residents of all of our communities,” said Hammel. “They care about the quality of their kids’ education. And we heard loud and clear today their disapproval of these unnecessary cuts to school districts across Michigan.”

The School Aid Fund was set to post an estimated surplus of $900 million for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. But due to the Governor’s tax plan which granted major corporations a $1.8 billion tax cut, that money, and more, was taken to offset the revenue lost from the tax cut. Instead of increasing school funding, districts saw a cut of $470 or more in per-pupil support from the state.

“Families all across this state are hurting right now,” said Segal. “The most important factor in Michigan’s recovery is educating our children to become the entrepreneurs of the future. Good schools are the foundation of a strong economy and are necessary to attract the businesses that will put our hard-working residents back on the job. I know my colleagues and I will be taking what we’ve heard here in Marquette today back to Lansing to prevent these unnecessary cuts from ever happening again.”