LANSING — House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (Auburn Hills) today denounced legislative Republicans’ drastic school funding cuts have resulted in a lack of the most basic school supplies, including toilet paper, in the Pontiac City School District. The cuts have also resulted in the layoffs of 95 employees, including 42 teachers, in the past year. The Pontiac school district lies within Greimel’s House District 29.
“It might be funny if it weren’t true. Our kids in Pontiac can’t even use textbooks in place of toilet paper, because classrooms don’t have enough of those, either,” Greimel said. “Since the start of this year, the hard-working and dedicated teachers of Pontiac have been paying out-of-pocket for toilet paper in their own classrooms. What’s happening here is utterly shameful, and all the more so because it could have been avoided.”
Over the past two years, the Republicans in Lansing have been slashing school funding in order to fund massive tax breaks for Michigan’s largest corporations. As a result, Pontiac has seen its funding decrease $2.4 million from 2011 to 2013. As a result, the district laid off 42 teachers last year and slashed spending on necessities such as toilet paper.
“Republicans don’t mind that their slash-and-burn approach to school funding is hurting our kids and destroying their right to get a quality education,” Greimel said. “When the Pontiac schools faced a $2.4 million shortfall in funding from the state, it responded by laying off dozens of teachers and cutting spending on necessities such as textbooks and toilet paper. The only possible result of that is having our kids crammed into overcrowded classrooms that lack even the most basic supplies. Our children deserve better than this, and that’s why House Democrats demand that education funding be restored and that Republicans stop raiding the School Aid Fund to pay for massive corporate tax breaks.”