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Thu November 19, 2009
Students rally for school funding
By Gretchen Millich
Lansing, MI – High school students rallied at the state Capitol again Wednesday, carrying signs that read "We are Michigan's future" and "Michigan schools are too big to fail." They want legislators to restore funding for education.
Lawmakers are on an informal break for deer-hunting season, but that didn't stop students from Grand Ledge, Lansing, East Lansing and Waverly from gathering at the Capitol to protest huge cuts in funding for their schools.
Zekiye Salman helped organize the rally. She's a senior at Grand Ledge, where administrators are planning deep mid-year cuts, including layoffs and transportation. "If I stay in Michigan and go to school at MSU, MSU's funding is also being cut. Their tuition is going up. It's not just a high school, middle school, elementary school problem. It really is affecting students across the board."
Lawmakers are at an impasse over more than $600 million in cuts to K-12 schools. Christian Vanderbush is a sophomore at East Lansing High School. He criticized Governor Granholm for making cuts on top of those the legislature had already made. "They need to do something and they need to do it now. They need to stop bickering across the isles and work together to find a solution to restore the cuts. It's not my job to tell then how to do it. We elected them to find ways to do it and that's what we're expecting them to do."
The rally was the second student-led event. Vandenbush says they'll continue to pressure lawmakers until the deadlock is resolved.