Now that the election is over, you don’t hear much about the massive cuts Republicans have made to public schools in Michigan. Without someone like Mark Schauer to constantly put it out into the mediasphere, it’s simply no longer being discussed. Well, except by bloggers like me whose “intellectual content” Gov. Snyder gives “a very low number” on a scale of one to ten.
But, the fact is, Gov. Snyder hasn’t just taken a billion dollars out of our schools each year, he has taken BILLIONS out of our K-12 classrooms each year.
Well, those chickens are coming home to roost. 57 Michigan public schools are now in deficit, an increase of just under 10% in a single year. Oh yeah, and one of those districts is Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit children, the Education Achievement Authority:
The number of school districts and charter schools operating at a deficit increased during the past fiscal year and included Michigan’s state-run district for failing schools, according to a report from Michigan education officials.
The Education Achievement Authority was among 57 school districts and charters in the red as of June 30, up from 52 the year before, according to the state Department of Education, which reported the figures Friday to the state House and Senate education budget subcommittees. […]
The state says 55 districts and charter schools still have deficits, while two charter schools on the list have closed. Among the districts and charter schools operating at a deficit are 24 in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
Oak Park School District, Romulus Community Schools and Redford Union Schools are among the districts that got off the list of districts in deficit, while Garden City Public Schools, South Lake Schools and Warren Consolidated Schools joined it.
Warren Consolidated’s fund balance swung from $6.2 million to a deficit of $2.1 million.
We have choices to make about public education in Michigan. We can fund it like we value it and in a way that’s sustainable, predictable, and allows them to flourish. Or we can starve them, strangle them, and then force them to compete with for profit charters who operate under a different set of rules.
If it looks to you as if the defunding of schools is an intentional act designed to destroy the public school system in Michigan and funnel our tax dollars into the bank accounts of for-profit “educators”, you aren’t alone. There are a lot of us who are thinking that very thing.
The evidence is convincing.