Thursday, October 19, 2006

Michigan's Proposal 5 - Vote NO

Michigan's Proposal 5 reads:
The proposed law would:
• Increase current funding by approximately $565 million and require State to
provide annual funding increases equal to the rate of inflation for public
schools, intermediate school districts, community colleges, and higher
education (includes state universities and financial aid/grant programs).
• Require State to fund any deficiencies from General Fund.
• Base funding for school districts with a declining enrollment on three-year
student enrollment average.
• Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools,
community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.
• Reduce funding gap between school districts receiving basic per-pupil
foundation allowance and those receiving maximum foundation allowance.
Should this proposed law be approved?

Sounds noble doesn't it. After all who could be against education "for the children"?

Here's the cath: There are not guarrantees the funding will be felt in the classroom. instead the proposal will guarrantee Teacher's salary increases and benefits. The proposal caps local contributions to teacher pension plans and makes the State put in the future contributions that will occur over time in short having the State fund the Teacher's pensions rather than the school districts, and cause a severe imbalance in the State's budget by guarranteeing increases in funding at least at the rate of inflation or 5% regardlewss of other priorities or needs.

Michigan already pours tons of money into our schools, within many cases, notjing to show for it. As noted in the Detroit News Column on Prop 5
Pay for Michigan teachers ranks fifth in the nation. Spending on education as a percentage of available tax dollars ranks fourth. Per-pupil spending is well above the national average.What do Michigan taxpayers get for that $14 billion education investment?

Nearly a quarter of its students drop out of high school. Its college graduation rate is half that of the top states. Scores on skills tests are falling. A third of public high schools don't meet federal standards. And 20 percent of state residents can't read well enough to function in the workplace.

Those responsible for these sorry results ought to be begging to avoid the firing squad.

Instead the union-led education establishment is trying to con Michigan voters into institutionalizing its failure. Don't buy it.

Don't vote to lock in continued spending increases without accountability and requirments that performance beincreased and that education for our children actually improves.

Vote NO on Proposal 5.

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