Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cyber School Bill Stalled

Congratulations to those of you who contacted your legislator regarding SB 619-623, the so called "Cyber School" bill.  Your efforts have stalled the bill in the House of Representatives.  The Republicans realized they did not have enough votes for passage last week.  However, the fight is not over, so keep in contact with your state representative and urge them to vote no on this group of bills.

Interesting that news headlines tout Gov. Snyder's plan to give more money to public schools as an "increase" in school aid funds.  Well, yes and no.  There will be an increase over what was given last year, but not the 2.8 to 3% as stated by the Governor.  After crunching the numbers, it comes out to 0.2 to 0.8%.  Some increase.  However, if you look at the total hit schools took last year, which amounted to $1.8 million, it is a stretch to call this years funding an increase.  It's like saying we received a 3% pay raise when inflation has been running at 4%.  Poof, there goes your "raise".

And finally, have you noticed Lansing is taking a different approach as to how we should pay for government services lately?  Take for instance road repairs.  It used to be road maintainance and construction was funded through the state gasoline tax and federal taxes reimbursed to the state.  Not any more.  If the powers that be have their way, funding will come from the general fund or areas with a surplus such as education.  I realize no one wants to see gas prices go up with additional taxes, but this idea of,  "if I don't use it, I should not have to pay for it" mentality has gotten way out of hand.  Simply because I don't drive on roads in Detroit, doesn't mean I should not pay a gas tax to fund repairs and construction for those same roads, or anywhere in Michigan .  It is about the common good, not the individual.  Somehow our Lansing folks have  come to the conclusion if people complain about higher gas taxes, then they will simply start paying for it out of the general fund.  If you think there is nothing wrong with this idea, think again.  Where do you think education funding comes from?  What do you think will happen when the school aid fund runs a surplus, as it did last year?  I dislike paying more in taxes just like you do, but be careful what you wish for.

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