Concerned Parents, Educators, Clergy, Urge State Legislature to Invest More Resources into Classrooms
DETROIT – At press conferences held on March 1 in Detroit and Grand Rapids , the Michigan Organizing Collaborative (MOC) along with educators, parents, students and clergy, announced a new statewide grassroots campaign aimed at gathering thousands of signatures on an on-line petition urging the state Legislature to restore nearly $1 billion in cuts to education funding enacted last year and invest additional resources into the State's classrooms.
In addition to the on-line campaign, MOC groups will meet with their State Representatives and Senators and will hold a series of candidate forums in the summer and fall in in cities across the state to inform citizens about the importance of education funding ahead of the 2012 elections. The MOC's 17 member organizations collectively represent 50,000 Michigan residents.
“After the education cuts last year, my school saw 52 kids in one kindergarten class, which is simply unacceptable,” said Barbara Mays, parent leader at Barton McFarland School in Detroit and president of Our Kids Come First. “We must stop the education cuts, and today we are saying we will no longer sit on the sidelines.”
In 2011, the state Legislature cut $470 per pupil from K-12 education funding. Gov. Snyder proposed virtually no restoration of these cuts in this year’s budget. Michigan students have seen a net cut in education funding over the last two years.
According to a recent report from the Education Trust-Midwest, Michigan now ranks near the bottom in most subjects across all grades. Students. Underperformance is reflected in all of Michigan students, regardless of income, race or ethnicity.
“Funding for education is an issue that impacts all school districts in our state,” said Steve Norton, Ann Arbor parent and president of Michigan Parents for Schools (pictured above). “Gov. Snyder’s recent budget proposal does nothing to restore the nearly $1 billion cut from education funding last year and we need to speak up and say this is simply unacceptable.”
Press Coverage of the Launch of Invest in Education Campaign:
Michigan Public Radio: http://www.michiganradio.org/post/collaboration-calling-lawmakers-more-education-dollars
Tony Coney Morning Show WILS-Lansing: http://www.webwiseforradio.com/site_files/368/Media/Tony/03-01%20norton_c.mp3
Grand Rapids Times http://www.grtimes.com/
Education by the Numbers
For more in depth analysis of school funding visit Michigan Parents for Schools: www.miparentsforschools.org
SAF: School Allowance Funding (total per pupil); Source: Michigan Parents for Schools 2/2012