Melton: Let voters decide school spending

LANSING, Mich. -  Michigan voters may see a ballot initiative in August asking them to approve a sales tax on services, with the understanding that their approval would also mean education spending reform, the chairman of the House Education Committee said Wednesday, according to The Detroit News.

Tim Melton, D-Auburn Hills, said at an education town hall meeting that discussion is under way to link such reforms as school employee retirement and health care spending reductions to voter approval of a new sales tax, according to The News.

"Let the voters decide," Melton said, according to The News. If voters turned down the tax plan, then public school budgets would be cut, he said, according to The News.

Republican legislative leaders favor state budget cuts and reforms over tax hikes, The News reported.

State Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan said, "I'm for whatever moves the ball forward. If the Legislature can't get this done and we need to go to the ballot, that's one option," according to The News.

State Board of Education President Kathleen Straus said the Legislature should resolve the school aid deficit rather than leaving it to voters, according to The News.

The Detroit News, "Voters may decide school aid," March 11, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Most School Health Care Plans Are Too Expensive For Michigan," Feb. 9, 2010