No education funding cuts next year?
Given the legislative attacks of the past year, it's hard not to be skeptical when we get news that Gov. Snyder says that his next budget won't include funding cuts to public schools and universities. He wants to roll out his budget proposal sometime in Feb.
In an Associated Press interview, Snyder said that schools endured some major reductions last year and "now we’re getting to a point of stability where we can be thoughtful about where do we invest back dollars."
But don't get your hopes up too high. Snyder wants to tie some of the K-12 funding in the 2012-13 school year to student achievement--if a student learns more, the school district gets more money. He plans on working with the Legislature to decide how best to measure student learning.
The Governor's Council on Educator Effectiveness must provide a report to the Legislature on a student growth and assessment tool and a state teacher evaluation tool by April 30. Those systems must be in place to meet the Governor's deadline of a June 1 adoption of a new budget.
Despite the governor's so-called plans for funding, we can't forget the "shared sacrifice" that was imposed on us this year--a 3 percent retirement contribution, an increased contribution to health care, salary reductions, and layoffs--all so CEOs can enjoy a $1.8 billion tax break. And it may not stop there since Gov. Snyder is interested in investigating whether the new retiree health care changes state workers are facing will also work for public school employees.
I guess we'll believe good news when we see it.