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Reply #23: Beware of Propaganda [View All]

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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:49 PM
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23. Beware of Propaganda
On the issue of Proposal 5, I think that people--both honest and dishonest--are not reading the actual language of the Proposal. The two important points of the language of the Proposal are, 1) Two-thirds of the money will go to pay for the teachers' retirement fund, nothing is specifically slated to go to students, supplies, current teachers and their budgets, building maintenance, hiring--nothing; it is not a millage, and 2) It will change the way the retirement fund is paid for, reducing the amount contributed by local school districts, which had always paid for all, and converting it to an increasing take of Michigan's General Fund; this WILL take away from police, fire, garbage pick-up and other City services funded by the State-Sharing plan.

The Voters' Guide from the League of Women Voters Michigan--which opposes Prop 5--puts it this way: "Proponents of the 'K-16' ballot proposal will tout the plan as 'for education.' The reality is that the plan is not at all about 'education.' Rather it's about funding teacher retirement at the expense of cuts to other critical government services, and tax increases on individuals and working families," and "The Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate--57 statewide organizations, including law enforcement, fire fighters, health care providers, social service organization, taxpayers, and local governments--believes this plan is wrong for Michigan. The cost of this proposal is extraordinary. The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates it will cost at least $565 million more per year. This is on top of the recently passed FY 2006/07 education budgets totaling approximately $400 million. The only way to pay for this peoposal is through cuts to other critical services or tax increases. Despite 974 words of petition language, the proposal never mentions student achievment or tuition restraint! It does detail a guarantee for teacher retirement funding. In fact, 2/3 of the funding is earmarked for retirement costs...quite obviously never intended 'for the kids.' " A special LWV Michigan Voter issue mentioned that not only was the actual education budget recently increased, (a fact which the proponents seem unaware of), but that the increasing funds taken out of the general budget to pay for the pension fund "will mean less money for everything else unless the Legislature raises taxes. Either state money will be shifted from non-mandated school programs (such as adult education, school readiness or middle school math grants), or other areas the state supports such as social services, and public safety will be cut, or perhaps both will be required for the Legislature to balance the state budget."

The Michigan Municipal League, (which should know about how this is going to affect local and county budgets, and which opposes Prop 5), has a link you can click on, on the page http://www.mml.org/legislative/bills/ballot.htm to get a PDF called "Why Proposal 5 is Wrong for Michigan." It is part of a coalition against it, the Stop K-16 Coalition. Part of the PDF has this point:

"But isn't this 'for the kids'?
"Unfortunately, nothing in Proposal 5's lengthy petition language says anything about improving student achievement or higher educational standards. The only guarantee from Proposal 5's at least $565 million dollar budget is that $380 million will go to teacher's pensions. Over 2/3 of this ballot proposal geared toward 'helping children' is earmarked not for the classroom but for teachers pensions. Last year, the Legislature and Governor approved a $200 per pupil funding increase. This year, they have approved spending increases $210 per pupil. Educators have advised that all of these increases are going toward health care and pension costs. Not one dime of these increases will go into the classroom!"

The mandated pension-funding increases, and reduced funding from local school systems, will take increasing amounts out of the General fund, and cut funding to non-mandated things, or will increase taxes to pay for this scheme. Nothing is going into the classroom--it will not pay for supplies, teacher salaries, programs for students, or anything else. It is not intended to. The fact that the propagandists for Prop 5 keep using the totally dishonest line about how "we need higher education for good jobs," etc., has made me start to think that they know they are lying, and, "Republican-like," are trying to. I will not respond at all to the peculiar viciousness of reply #19, except to mention how much it reads like a Republican Committee "framing" ad campaign. It is destroying a wonderful and educational thread. Vote NO on Proposal 5; vote No on all Proposals.
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