Monday, October 26, 2009

Letter From Dr. Roberts Regarding School Funding

October 23, 2009

Dear Ann Arbor Public Schools Parent/Guardian:
With all of the news this week coming from Lansing regarding school funding, I have been getting questions regarding the specific impact on funding for our school district. The State School Aid bill signed this week by Governor Granholm reduced funding for all school districts by $165 per student. The Governor also vetoed the Section 20j line item in the School Aid bill that further reduces funding for the Ann Arbor Public Schools along with 39 other school districts in the state. The veto of Section 20j reduces our funding by an additional $233 per student. The total reduction in funding for our school district in the State School Aid bill signed this week is $398 per student which equals 6.6 million dollars in lost revenue for our school district for the current 2009-2010 school year.
We also received notice today that the state has determined that based on the Department of Treasury's projections there are insufficient revenues in the State School Aid Fund to fund the recently signed budget. Thus, the Governor has issued a proration order that reduces funding for schools by an additional $127 per pupil that will take effect in 30 days unless the state finds additional revenues for the School Aid Fund. This additional reduction in funding will mean another 2.1 million dollars in lost revenue to our school district this year.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools stands to lose 8.7 million dollars in funding for this school year. Losing any funding four months into our fiscal year and two months into the school year creates a significant hardship for the school district. Losing almost nine million dollars in funding is completely unacceptable. Addressing a loss in funding of this magnitude in mid-year creates significant difficulty for the school district.
I would encourage you to contact both the legislature and Governor to help them understand that reducing funding to our schools by almost nine million dollars is unacceptable. They need to stop playing political games and work together to address the state's budget in a way that adequately funds education for our students. You can contact Governor Granholm at 517-373- 3400, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop at and House Majority Leader Andy Dillon at . If you have any questions please let me know.
Todd Roberts