Governor Granholm says big changes needed to school funding system

Governor Granholm says she hopes the Legislature will act this month to avert a new round of cuts to K-12 schools. She says stabilizing school funding should be a part of education reform efforts.

The governor has sent a letter to legislative leaders asking them to act with haste to enact school reforms that will qualify the state to compete for federal education reform dollars. But she says the reforms also have to extend to how Michigan pays for public schools.

She says chronic shortfalls in Michigan's school aid fund have become too big a problem to ignore.

"The way we fund schools in Michigan is broken," she says. "It's just not working."

The governor says that's because school funding is so dependent on the sales tax on goods that fluctuates with the economy. She says expanding the tax to also cover services would make school funding more stable. But earlier efforts to include even a few services in the tax have crashed and burned in the Legislature.