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Thu February 18, 2010
MI Education Committee seeks reforms not taxes
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
A panel of state lawmakers has begun hearings on reform ideas to reduce the cost of operating Michigan's K-12 schools.
A white board filled with bullet points hangs on the wall in Democratic House Education Committee Chairman Tim Melton's office.
"There's twenty reforms on our board that we've actually taken ideas that are out there and just started to try and vet them," he says.
Those ideas include pooling health insurance benefits for all teachers, and a mandatory reduction in administrative costs for all districts. Melton says he and House Speaker Andy Dillon agree that they need to find savings through reforms to the School Aid Fund. He says there is not the political will in Lansing to vote for new taxes proposed by Governor Granholm to fill the deficit. A representative from the state's largest teachers' union says there needs to be new revenue through taxes.