Townsend: Republicans Again Turn Their Backs on Children

GOP refuses to consider plan to use $760M surplus to restore Gov's schools cuts
Thursday, May 12, 2011

LANSING - State Representative Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) today threw his support behind a plan to prevent the Governor’s drastic cuts to K-12 education by using a state revenue surplus to restore $760 million in school aid funding. House Republicans, however, refused to allow the plan to even come up for a vote on the House Floor.

“The Republicans are flat-out refusing to give Michigan’s children a chance by robbing their schools of the resources they need to give them a world-class education,” Townsend said. “They refused to listen to our solution, just as they are refusing to listen to the countless parents, educators and students around the state who are demanding that the state invest in education - not steal from our kids’ future. I will not give up fighting to use this surplus funding to protect our schools from devastating cuts so we can make sure our kids succeed and our economic recovery continues.”

Last week, House Republicans passed a budget plan that cuts $1.1 billion from K-12 funding to subsidize a massive corporate tax break. Under the plan, Michigan’s schools will see cuts of at least $426 per student with some school districts being hit with cuts as large as $1,558 per student.

Due to increased income and sales tax collections in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, the state has a surplus of nearly $800 million in the School Aid Fund, according to the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency. The plan introduced by House Democrats today would use these funds to prevent deep budget cuts to education; however, House Republicans blocked it from receiving a vote or even discussion on the House Floor.