Public Outraged Over School Cuts

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- "It's time to stop playing games with each other."

Lansing resident Carole Bryde isn't alone in that sentiment. The reaction from folks here in mid-Michigan has been just about unanimous.

They're ticked off about what they see as a political game of chicken between state Democrats and Republicans -- one that could affect their children's futures.

"They're both at fault, folks," said William Mayes, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators. "This needs to be resolved. This is so bad for the children who are in our system right now."

The standoff between lawmakers peaked, of course, when the state went into a two-hour shutdown October 1. They finally settled on a $165 per-pupil cut to K-12 education.

And when Governor Granholm got that bill, she delivered another deadly blow to schools, announcing an additional $127 in per-pupil cuts.

She has said the extra cuts are needed to balance the budget. Republicans say it's her way of forcing them to agree to tax hikes.

"We were able to cut $1.2 billion out of the budget," said Rep. Paul Opsommer, Republican from DeWitt. "And she simply doesn't like that and wants to raise more revenue."

Either way, people are fed up with the he said-she said. Lawmakers, believe it or not, are, too.

"They should be frustrated. I'm frustrated," said Rep. Barb Byrum, a democrat from Onondaga.

Opsommer added: "Oh, obviously. If you're gonna tear the schools apart, kids should be upset, parents should be upset."

And that, of course, is the key point: Michigan's schools are about to be dealt a serious blow.

"Superintendents are appalled that they can't figure out from one day to the next how much money they're going to have to spend," Mayes said.

Which Michiganders here in Lansing say could to lead to devastating cuts to after-school-programs, and -- at the worst -- push families out of the state altogether.

"Most parents would say, 'Hey, we need to do what's best for our family,' said Lansing resident Shelly Wiggins. "And we might have to go to another state to get our kid a good education."

What Could You Stomach More, To Help Balance The State Budget?

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 29, 2009 at 03:58 AM
    Any one applying for food cards or medical help from the gov MUST show bank accounts and what they own value.That's the way it has been for years.I'd like to know what amish do to make this kind of money as stated up to 100,000$.They do not use electric.Do not own cars and pay to be driven where ever.They only use wood to heat,they grow gardens and can food,sell produce to us at times.They plant fields,mostly to feed their own livestock,what they sell otherwise can't be that much,to stores and feed mills.They make their own type of clothing.They do not have running water,but pump it.They work together as groups.They have their own saw mills in most cases in certain areas,and buy from each other.They use out side bath rooms.They help each other in building homes and barns.The gov ideas in giving them any help what so ever is to try and keep them healthy,to keep them from spreading illness.If we all were able to live like them,many would be better off.At least the poor of america.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 28, 2009 at 09:05 PM
    To John's post: You were commenting on another post and you said and I quote "To the person exclaiming live within their means, that is exactly what the Governor did." Sorry but YOU ARE THE TWIT if you think for example purchasing the MSP headquarters for 39 million not including additional cost when they are leasing a building for a dollar! You are right there are some people on here that do not know what they are talking about and it is YOU! It is people like You that make no sense at all. You probably still living at home with your parents or are deep in debt and angry at the world. I think you need a pill! Also you may only get 14-20 hours at McDonalds (you must work there since you know that for a fact, right)because of your attitude! Clean up your attitude and you may be able to get more hours and move out of your parents basement or pay off those credit cards. Gov livin within her means, omg ha ha ha!
  • by Brian Location: Hillsdale on Oct 27, 2009 at 01:35 PM
    What? Amish do receive government assistance in case you have been misinformed. They are all scandal when it comes to boundaries. The ones around here pay school taxes. The kicker is that they work around income taxes. Some make upwards around $100,000 or even more a year for one household. They just work for mainly cash that way they can show a poverty type of earning. Then they stroll in to receive their food cards and government health care. They know we are all nieve! Yes! Anonymous, they do have it made!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 27, 2009 at 07:15 AM
    Schools will just have to complain to their UNIONS.Auto workers lost many jobs.Unions did not save them,jobs.The government says poverty level for a family of 4 is around 21,200.Try living on that.The costs keep going up to buy,have or run a house hold.Many homes have been lost because of job loss and The rising costs to live.Mi has cut social programs for yrs.They weren't as needed as now.Schools think they have it bad?Since the gov has failed on getting jobs in MI.all complaining feel free to get jobs here.Thousands are waiting.Jobs can help raise tax money.Then we can fix MI.Government could of cut all help to schools.I guess the Amish have it made.They don't need or get gov funding.God is their way and it has worked for them.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 26, 2009 at 11:14 AM
    Pattengill middle school shows how bad things are in schools. It is a nice building but the kids have the same problems at home.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 26, 2009 at 07:02 AM
    How nice a school looks,says nothing to how many get good grades.Nice sport uniforms do not say a team will win a game.How nice and warm a school is or how many lights are on all the time,Just makes more Costs in utility bills.If some schools let some staff go,this will cause more jobs to be lost.The main problem is job loss by thousands.We know upper gov will not take pay cuts.We know getting them out of office is impossible.What really is behind the school cuts?Are some over paid or what?The gov knows things way before the public does.Never say a word.The future news will explain or won't.Being keep in the dark is so hard.Some are taking bets if or not a budget will be met.Just like many don't know if they like our new president now.He has heads rolling.We see many things that have been going on for years.Many are shocked.At least we are seeing why the USA is failing.Can any party make a difference.It took 8 yrs of bush to ruin many things.No one can fix that in a short time.So-
  • by Wait till more cuts Location: Michigan on Oct 26, 2009 at 06:22 AM
    There are so many things and taxes that are connected to funding schools.Where did all that money go?If making it to schools did schools spend wisely?If one has no kids in schools many still get taxed any ways.This should of not happened either.Our taxing system is in need of many changes.Some things continue to get the OK while other things get drastic cuts.The gov owns a lot of land,continue to buy more.For what?Nature can take care of its self.People with no jobs find that rather hard with out our help.It is a bad time for this state when charities and food banks can't do their jobs.So many now live in poverty.Many that had decent paying jobs have nothing left.Not even hope.Go back to school to get a job.This has not worked in many cases.Detroit had its big home auction.Many did not sell.Still sit empty.Then again,who wants to live in Detroit?In some areas it is like a ghost town.The auto capital has become slum capital.Is there nothing to fund but schools?Some think so.
  • by St. James Location: St. Johns on Oct 26, 2009 at 05:35 AM
    MEA endorsed her twice, teachers voted for her in lock step. I remember their bumper stickers (Anybody but Engler). I guess you got ANYBODY and you paid for it, in more ways than one. EDUCATE yourself before you vote!!!
  • by Sue Location: Charlotte on Oct 25, 2009 at 08:59 PM
    All the news and papers say go back to college and get a degree. That will insure you a job and a bright future. Pipe Dreams When college is finished (like it is for thousands of Americans) where are they suppose to get those illusive dreams from. All our jobs are going down the tubes or out sourced to other countries. I personally know an individual whos sister has a masters degree and she was told to teach her job to another individual from India. When the training session was finished....her job went with the Indian back to India....pritty cold hearted; but, true. I bet many people can relate to that same type of incedent. I do agree with one thing the our Govenor has said in her most remembered speech...." In five years you will be blown away". She was right and I know now, that she knew it all along....but, she sits pritty and her family isn't hurting from any of this economical devistation.
  • by Jennifer Location: Charlotte on Oct 25, 2009 at 04:39 PM
    Watch the video of Senator Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing). She stands up to defend education and urges the Legislature to adopt reforms to fix Michigan. About time someone says something to these money hungry politicians! Wake up folks! Cuts aren't out of their pockets nor their perks!
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