Snyder's budget restores fraction of funds raided from schools

Gov. Rick Snyder released his proposed 2014 budget Thursday morning, and while it includes small increases in school funding, it comes nowhere close to providing local schools with the resources they need to give Michigan students they education they deserve.

Snyder's budget proposal includes the following:

Increasing the K-12 budget by 2 percent, which includes bringing the state's minimum foundation allowance to $7,000 per pupil

Doubling state funding for early childhood education

Increasing state support for public universities by 2 percent

Increasing community college funding by 2 percent, which includes more investments in skilled trades programs

Despite the small increases in funding for K-12 schools, community colleges and universities, the amount of state support provided to education is still far less than it was before Snyder took office in January 2011. In his first budget, Snyder cut K-12 funding by more than $1 billion and increased taxes on the middle-class, just to provide a $1.8 billion tax break to corporate special interests.

Snyder and the Legislature then provided an additional tax break for CEOs late last year, while replacing a fraction of what they'd previously raided from the School Aid Fund.

"Teachers and education support professionals strongly support more funding for early childhood education and additional investment in vocational training programs," MEA President Steven Cook said. "However, we are concerned that adequate funding for a quality education isn't reaching past pre-K for too many of our children, leaving them unprepared for college and the workplace."

"It wasn't long ago that the governor and his allies in the Legislature slashed K-12 funding by $1 billion while giving CEOs over $2 billion in tax breaks," Cook said. "Instead of a mere 2 percent investment, we urge our state's leaders to restore every penny taken away from our local schools, so that every child has the opportunity to succeed from preschool through college."

Lawmakers must approve a final budget by Sept. 30.