School aid fund has unexpected surplus

LANSING, Mich. - Surplus money in the School Aid Fund makes it likely that public school districts will not see reductions in the 2011 education budget, but neither should they expect reimbursements for this year's $165-per-pupil cut, legislators told WLNS-TV 6 on Wednesday.

Higher-than-expected sales tax revenue has generated a $348 million surplus in the school fund, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

While 2011 budget talks to date have included suggestions of a $400-per-pupil cut in school funding, Rep. Terry Brown, D-Pigeon, told WLNS, "Right now it's looking very positive that we'll be able to balance this budget without doing further cuts." Brown is chairman of the House K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee.

Rather than dole out the extra money now, Rep. Chuck Moss, R-Birmingham, told WLNS, "We don't know what the future holds and it's not the time to stop tightening the belt."

WLNS-TV 6, "More Money May Save Schools," May 19, 2010

Michigan Information & Research Service Inc., "Schools Shouldn't Start Spending Surplus," May 20, 2010 (subscription required)

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Funding Myths," 2010.