LANSING, Mich. - Public schools could face a $292-per-pupil cut this year, up from last week's $165-per-pupil estimate, but there is disagreement on the governor's motivation in announcing the higher amount as well as disagreement over whether it is needed, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

The $165-per-student reduction was factored into the school budget adopted by the state Legislature, but Gov. Jennifer Granholm said an additional $127-per-student reduction will be needed due to the state's declining tax revenue, MIRS reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, said that Granholm is manipulating the public into believing a tax increase is necessary, according to MIRS. He said the school budget adopted by the Legislature is accurate, based on May revenue estimating figures, while the governor said her added cuts are based on a more recent estimate by state Treasurer Robert Kleine.

The Legislature's budget shows a $123 million surplus in the school fund after the lower level of cuts are implemented, while Kleine's estimate shows a $212 million deficit, MIRS reported.

The extra cut would take effect in December unless new revenue is appropriated, according to MIRS.

SOURCE:
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc., "Granholm announces new $127-per-pupil cut," Oct. 22, 2009 (Subscription required)

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Michigan School Money Primer: State Government," May 30, 2007

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