Education, Rick Snyder, Teachers — December 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: we’re done robbing the public schools for now


I guess we’re supposed to be thankful for this? Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said this week that he’s done robbing from our children to balance the state’s books after he took $1 billion from the school fund to help pay for an 86% tax cut for businesses.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday that his next budget proposal likely won’t include further cuts to public schools and universities.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Snyder said he thinks the state will be “finished with the cut model” for schools in 2012-13, after they endured some major reductions in the current fiscal year. Public schools were cut more than 2 percent, or about $1 billion, and the state’s universities absorbed 15 percent cuts. Most universities raised tuition by nearly 7 percent as a result.

He is, however, making sure that failing schools remain underfunded while successful schools get additional funds.

Snyder would like to tie at least some K-12 funding in 2012-13 to student achievement, so school districts where students learn more get additional money.

“One of the things we’ll look hard at is, are there ways we can make sure those dollars are really showing results, as opposed to simply passing on dollars,” he said. In looking at student growth, it’s “not what they’re being taught, but what they’ve actually learned.”

I’m fully aware that throwing money at schools is not the answer to solving educational problems. But I am also aware that when school districts are struggling, making sure they have to cut and fight budget battles while they are in the middle of trying fix things is a recipe for failure. It sets them up to be taken over by the state where their services will be outsourced and their teachers and other unionized employees are forced to swallow pay and benefit cuts. It’s all part of the Emergency Manager Model envisioned by Michigan Republicans. It’s not a coincidence that Snyder signed legislation lifting the cap on charter schools this week.

Not a coincidence at all.