Lawmakers propose $218-per-student cut

LANSING, Mich. - Public schools would receive $218-per-pupil less in state funding under budget plans that emerged from House-Senate committees Wednesday, according to The Detroit News. That figure includes cuts in early childhood grants, math/science centers and the "small high schools" initiative, according to The News.

Intermediate school districts would see a 44 percent reduction in state funding, the report said. Lawmakers also proposed a $60 million reduction in college aid programs, among them Promise scholarships, The News reported.

Faced with a $2.7 billion gap between state spending and revenue, various committees are working to propose budgets for 15 departments by Sept. 30 for consideration by the full House and Senate.

The Promise Grant program provides up to $4,000 over four years to 96,000 college students. Those in college and expecting the money for this year wouldn't get it and some who received a payment this fall may have to pay it back, The News reported.

Don Noble, a lobbyist for the Michigan Education Association, said the per-pupil reduction would mean "massive layoffs, reshuffling students, increasing class size and elimination of some programs," according to The News.

The Detroit News, "State's budget ax hits schools," Sept. 24, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Schools line up for 'small high schools' funding," Feb. 3, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Privatization Survey Shows Gains in Support Service Contracting," Sept. 7, 2009