More Money for Schools?

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

Governor Jennifer Granholm is introducing a plan to increase per-pupil school funding throughout the state by $25.

Granholm will make the school funding request to the legislature Tuesday. She says Michigan schools need the money.

"They've got inflationary increases, but more importantly, we're going to expect more of them. And so, we want to be able to fund that," Granholm said Monday.

Lansing Board of Education President Guillermo Lopez says he wouldn't turn away free money, but he says, the governor's timing could be better.

"If we had (it) two weeks ago, it would have helped us retain our staff or we wouldn't have had to make the moves we made," Lopez said.

Lopez says the money could also help next year, when he says a number of factors will add up to budget problems for the district.

"The projected enrollments, costs, we're going into a contractual mode with our teachers."

The $25 per pupil would mean roughly 400 thousand dollars for Lansing public schools. It's a tiny fraction of the district's 186 million dollar budget.

Lopez says his plan is to store the up school money for next year, if the legislature passes granholm's proposal. Although he admits -- there is a chance the money could come in handy yet this year.

"Our fuel costs could go up ... you never know," Lopez said.

In that case, Lopez says he'll be grateful for the extra cash. But he says he's hoping for a long term solution to tight budgets.

"Our economy is the problem. Once the economy gets going, everything improves itself."

As far as a short term funding increase for michigan schools -- that'll be up to the legislature.

Granholm says the plan will cost about $42 million, leaving roughly $80 million left in the state's education aid fund.

In Lansing, Tony Tagliavia, News 10.


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