Daily Archives: October 16, 2006

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I don't usually "do politics" here, but this relates directly to me.

I'm not big on unions; my labor union is for this proposal, but I've voted in ways contrary to their recommendations before and I will again.

This is about making sure public schools funding keeps up with inflation.

From a "pro-5" site

Proposal 5 is an education ballot initiative that requires the State of Michigan to provide annual funding increases at the rate of inflation (based on the previous year’s Consumer Price Index) to local public K-12 schools, intermediate school districts, community colleges and higher education institutions.

It also requires the State to fund any deficiencies in the School Aid Fund from the General Fund, allow base funding for school districts with declining enrollment to use a three-year average; cap Retirement Fund contribution for public schools, community college and universities and require the State to pay remaining portion. 

Proposal 5 reduces funding gap between school districts receiving basic per-pupil foundation allowance and those receiving maximum foundation allowance.

I intended to also post a clip from an "anti-5" site, but they're in pdf and wouldn't let me cut and paste - I'm too lazy today to retype.

Basically, for both sides, it's about funding.  The "anti's" say that the funding increase is not tied to performance.  HELLO?  "No Child Left Behind" ties the school directly to performance.  If the school doesn't perform, the government takes it over.

The "anti's" say that it's about staff pay and pensions.  Well....yes.  Actually, it is.  Staff pay and pensions are part of running a school.  For any business, staffing is a part of the overhead.

Put another way...

Over the last four years, our state legislatures have voted themselves a raise of about 40%.

But public schools don't deserve to keep up with inflation.