Residents have mixed opinion on Snyder budget

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Those opposed to reducing state funding for K-12 public schools in Michigan say it shortchanges students, while others say there are ways schools can cut expenses without affecting education, according to a report in The Battle Creek Enquirer.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget includes a $470-per-pupil reduction next year, The Enquirer reported, as part of a larger plan to reduce overall government spending and cut business taxes to boost the economy. Supporters say schools will benefit in the long run through an improved economy that draws families and jobs to the state,  while critics say that schools have already made enough cuts, The Enquirer reported.

Battle Creek parent Shanay Smith told The Enquirer that the plan to reduce school funding was “disappointing,” while area resident Richard Logan said that schools could reduce spending through privatizing support services, improving transportation efficiency and bringing school employee benefits in line with those typically received in the private sector.

“Some of their benefits are way out in left field, far as I’m concerned. I don’t think a lot of people realize what they’re paying for,” Logan told The Enquirer.

Sharnita Childress, a member of the Lakeview High School Parent Teacher School Association, told The Enquirer that Michigan needs to pay teachers well in order to attract the best educators.

The Battle Creek Enquirer, “Proposed school cuts draw mixed response,” March 3, 2011

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Benefits in Balance