ROYAL OAK – State Representative Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) heard from residents last night about the impact of Governor Snyder’s education cuts on their neighborhood schools at his Fight School Cuts town hall meeting in Royal Oak. Townsend was joined at the event by State Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton(Huntington Woods), who is a member of the House Appropriations School Aid Subcommittee, and House Fiscal Agency Director Mary Ann Cleary.

“Since the start of the school year we have seen how the administration’s cuts to education have played out in our classrooms, and it has not been good for students or teachers,” said Rep. Townsend.

“I will take what I heard from parents and educators back to Lansing and use their stories in our fight against any future funding cuts proposed by the Republican majority.”

Townsend and Lipton explained how House Democrats are fighting to prevent these education budgets cuts from becoming the norm by urging the Legislature to vote on House Resolution U which would amend the state constitution to prevent future raids on the School Aid Fund. The resolution would have to be voted on by the Legislature, and then it would go before the public for a vote. The Legislators also listened to parents and educators explain what is happening in their local schools now that the school year has started and the budget cuts have taken effect.

“Funding our schools and providing a good education has to be a priority if we are going to improve our state’s economy and attract new business and industry,” said Townsend. “We are now hearing that the state is going to have a surplus in the budget, so I believe that we should take this surplus money and give it to our schools to make up some of the cuts that our schools had to absorb. Education is the key to a strong future for Michigan, and this budget surplus is the perfect opportunity to right a wrong that was done with the cuts to the School Aid Fund.”