MI House approves using more stim to fund schools

LANSING, MI – The state House has voted to dig further into Michigan's federal stimulus money to cushion schools from bigger budget cuts this year. But some lawmakers are questioning the wisdom of diverting money that's supposed to help schools balance their budgets next year.

Governor Granholm has warned schools that they will lose $300 per student unless the Legislature comes up with more money for education. The House adopted a plan to soften the cuts to $165 per student.

Representative Terry Brown chairs the House schools budget subcommittee. He says the measure gives schools time to plan for the big cuts that will be coming in 2010. And he says it will buy the Legislature time to come up with a better way to pay for schools.

"Now we have to say, what opportunities are there in these dire, most dire of circumstances to make sure we fund the things that are most important to us," he says.

But some lawmakers, mostly Republicans, say tapping again into stimulus funds only delays tough decisions.