John Jarpe: It’s time to stop taking money from schoolsPublished 8:56am Thursday, May 2, 2013
Tell it to Lansing: Support Public Education.
Governor Snyder, the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate are all working on budgets for next year.
The School Aid Fund (SAF) is a big part of that budget.
All three — the governor, the House, and the Senate — have plans they have approved, and now they have to come to an agreement on a final budget.
The major source of our funding for schools is the dollars per student foundation grant.
The three budgets do propose slight increases in this foundation grant. BUT — don’t get excited, and don’t be fooled.
It’s a shell game, where they are shifting money from one part of the budget to another.
Other parts of the budget are changed, so the result is we will get less money from the state, and right now we have to plan on next year’s budgets getting less money again. In fact, we get less money per student than we did in 2006-2007, and that’s the year before I came to Brandywine as superintendent.
We all realize Michigan and the whole country faced a big recession and we’re finally coming back from that hit to our economy.
It’s time to stop taking dollars from schools.
We’ve done the best we can with reduced funding over the past several years. We have streamlined wherever we can. We haven’t replaced people who left or retired. We have consolidated duties and many people have not seen increases in their pay for years. One thing we haven’t lost and will never lose is our commitment to public schools in general and the children of Brandywine in particular.
We need that same commitment from our governor, our senator, and our state representatives.
These people hear from me and others in the education community often. They also need to hear from other voters and supporters of public schools in our area.
Get involved yourselves and please talk to your neighbors, friends and relatives who live in Michigan and believe in public education.
Tell them to contact their representatives and ask those elected officials if they truly support our public schools — not for-profit charter schools, not cyber schools and not programs that resemble vouchers. They should provide real dollars for the K-12 public schools.
Ask them to call or e-mail their senator or representative.
For most people in this part of Michigan, our senator is John Proos. Here’s how to reach him:
• John Proos, 517-373-6960; SenJProos@senate.michigan.gov
If you live in our area of Berrien County, your representative is Dave Pagel:
• Dave Pagel, 517-373-1796; Davepagel@house.mi.gov
Matt Lori represents our part of Cass County:
• Matt Lori, 517-373-0832, MattLori@house.mi.gov
John Jarpe is superintendent of Brandywine Community Schools.
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