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Reply #33: I've read the proposal [View All]

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bain_sidhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. I've read the proposal
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 07:02 PM by bain_sidhe
and the analysis prepared by the Citizens Research Council. I have made my own conclusions. The League of Women Voters used the CRC analysis to come to their conclusions. The Michigan Municipal League, and the coalition against prop 5 have come to their own conclusions as well, as is their right. I simply disagree with their conclusions. Yes, everybody wants a piece of the pot, and many of those opposed to Prop 5 want to protect their piece, as do those in support of Prop 5. Everybody's got an agenda, and here's mine: I want to increase funding for education, and I want to protect teachers from being stripped of their pensions by school systems going bankrupt under the current funding crisis. (Almost 50 of them, by last count.)

This proposal, in my opinion, is a direct result of Engler's campaign to destroy the public school system, and so is my support of it. I actually think that Granholm is doing the best she can for schools in the face of the structural budget deficit Engler engineered (more of that "starve the beast" philosophy). It's not her hands I feel the need to tie, it's some future Republican Governor and legislature's hands. This law can be changed if future circumstances require it, but not easily. This, IMHO, will make it less likely that some future Republican Governor can pick up where Engler left off.

A couple of things for people still confused:.

The "increase in funding" is a *real* increase and goes directly to the schools. As with most state school funding, the school district decides how to spend it. That's part of the "local control" mandated by law.

The decrease in a school district's out of pocket costs for funding pension liabilities is a *real* decrease. It is money the school district will not have to pay out.

The difference between the funds received by a school district from taxes and the "funding guarantee" by the state comes from the state, from the general fund - and always has. The proposal mandates a "cost of living" increase for this "funding guarantee." Also to be paid for by the state, from the general fund, the difference between the pension-fund liabilities (now paid completely by the schools, out of their operating funds) and the school system's contribution capped by the proposal at either 80% of the actual contribution rate, or 14.87% of payroll (currently it's 17.74% of payroll).

Yes, both of these will reduce the money available for other purposes. It's no surprise that the Municipal League is against it, as it might impact their share of the pot. But here's the difference: If residents of a city or county demand a service the city can't pay for, the city can raise taxes. The same goes for the State. They won't like it, and the residents may decide that they can do without that service. But if they really, really want it, they have that option. But, due to Proposal A in 1993, schools *can't* raise taxes to provide needed services, or to comply with unfunded mandates. So, on the one hand, schools *by law* can't increase their revenues, and on the other hand, they must pay for unfunded mandates out of their operating costs.

Everybody wants a piece of the pie. I understand that, and I even agree that there are many social services that deserve funding. But it's a matter of priorities. My priority is to fund education, and to insure that we get and keep *good teachers* in our classrooms. Your priority may be different. That's what political campaigns are all about. One of us will convince the majority to share our priorities.

Oh, and one other priority... I want education's piece protected from people like Engler.

If you want to read the CRC anaylsis, it's here: http://www.crcmich.org/election/index.html
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