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Wed June 23, 2010
MI School Aid Fund might be near a deal
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
Lawmakers said they were close to reaching a deal over the K-12 schools budget Wednesday. But an apparent agreement evaporated as the House and Senate were unable to use a surplus in the School Aid Fund.
Democrats and Republicans are still hoping to wrap up the school aid budget by a July 1 deadline. That's when school districts begin their fiscal year.
Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon says there is a deal on next year's school funding. But he says Senate Republicans want to tap into a school aid fund surplus to retire this year's general fund budget deficit.
"There's really no reason to hold all of the school districts hostage because they want to raid the school aid fund to go fill a gap in the current year budget," he says.
Dillon says there are other options to fill budget gaps, and the Legislature should not use surplus schools money. This newest impasse comes as teachers prepare to march on the Capitol to demand more money for schools.