LANSING (WJRT) -
(07/01/14) - Since Gov. Snyder laid out his nearly $15 billion budget plan for education, schools have been speaking out, saying it simply is not enough money.
Tuesday morning, superintendents from across the state met in Lansing to try to get the governor to reexamine his education budget.
The plan increases the traditional per student aid between $50 and $175. More than 100 districts around the state, including GISD, are saying that is just not enough to offset their costs. They say it means cuts this upcoming school year and beyond.
$15 billion sure sounds like a lot, but Jerry Johnson from the GISD and others across the state argue that when all is said and done - it isn't.
"$50 pp increase is still $10 in the hole and that's a problem," Johnson said. "There is more money. I'm not sure it's going the places that can help students the best."
With this year's state surplus, many thought this could be the come back year for schools.
Reductions and a discrepancy over the proposed per pupil amount and the final per pupil amount is why Midland Public Schools superintendent Michael Sharrow was in Lansing, Tuesday.
"Total surprise. Going in you had the 3 props, and 24 hours we had something totally different. As you heard today, none of us could predict that most of us adopted our budgets or prepared our budgets on an $83 figure," he said.
Sharrow and other supers said they were banking on at least $83 per pupil, but that the number dropped to $50.
Once the budget is laid out and there isn't enough to go around, "The only option districts have is to cut," Johnson said.
Sharrow fears now that their rainy day fund is almost dried up, the state will have to intervene.
"We could be one of those districts that the state now has to come in and have some control over," he said.
It still remains to be seen just how the upcoming school year will shake out, but for now, "We are ready to start the new academic year and do the best we can with what we have," Johnson said.
We talked to Gov. Snyder's team. They told us the governor's budget is actually $1.1 billion more than the previous budget roll out for education in 2010. They also said the budget was passed before July 1 so that schools could plan their budgets accordingly with the start of the fiscal school year.