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Wed November 4, 2009
MI House panel raids stimulus money to avert $300 per student K12 cuts
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state House Appropriations Committee has taken a step toward averting a $300 per-student cut to schools later this month. The committee voted to tap federal stimulus money the state has been saving to help balance next year's schools budget.
The action would not eliminate the cuts. Instead, schools would lose just $165 per student -- which would still force many districts to lay off teachers and other staff.
Democratic Representative Terry Brown chairs the House schools budget subcommittee.
"It's certainly not an elegant solution," he says. "It's not the best solution, but it's a way to move some funds back in there. Does it solve our problems - absolutely not, but it helps to offset some of the problems that are out there right now."
House Speaker Andy Dillon says he won't stand in the way of a vote on the legislation. But he says he is afraid reducing the immediate impact on schools will lift some of the pressure to come up with a long-term solution to the school funding crisis.