Michigan Education Association


Legislative roundup - March 29, 2011

Budget update: Public testimony needed NOW on proposed ed cuts

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid met today to listen to public input about proposed budget cuts for schools.

Several school officials testified, including Farmington Superintendent Susan Zurvalec. Her district stands to lose more than $1,000 per student, or about $12 million. She pleaded with lawmakers to invest in -- and not cut -- education funding.

"Having high quality public schools is not partisan and needs a bipartisan solution," she said.

The subcommittee will meet again Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Room 352 of the Capitol. If you're available during that time, please attend the meeting to testify about how the proposed budget cuts will affect your students, your school, and your community.

Wednesday's hearing may be your last chance to testify before the House panel!

Several MEA members and staff attended Tuesday's hearing, though they were not able to testify because of other scheduled speakers.

Sara Ziegler, a Monroe teacher, said she wanted to tell committee members about the impact proposed cuts will have in her district. Last week, the district issued pink slips to all teachers. Ziegler said students may lose popular programs, including band, domestic arts, business courses, and other offerings.

"They're eradicating public education as we know it," she said.

Parent Denyeal Nesovski of Utica also attended Tuesday's hearing. She's concerned that her son, a second-grader with autism, will not receive the services that he needs -- or deserves.

"Everything could be affected," Nesovski said. "I'm really worried."

MEA members are urged to immediately contact your state representatives and senators about the proposed budget. NOW IS THE TIME TO OFFER YOUR EXPERTISE!

Better yet, come to Lansing Wednesday at 2 p.m. to attend the hearing in Room 352 of the Capitol -- we need many voices in that room! Please invite concerned parents, administrators, and others, too. If you and your students are on spring break, consider encouraging students to attend to remind lawmakers who the budget will help -- or hurt.

MEA strongly opposes proposed budget cuts that would hurt schools and the students they serve. For background information, talking points, sample letters to the editor, and other helpful information on this topic, go to MEA's Message Center.


Updated: March 30, 2011