With the economy slowing in the State of Michigan, newly elected Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed a new round of cuts in the funding for public schools.
The new cuts would equal $470 per student and continue a $170 reduction that was put in place by the current budget.
Before this reduction, State records show 43 Michigan schools districts and charter schools were in deficits as of June 30, 2010. Another 150 schools are operating with less than 5 percent of their annual operational budget in savings.
With schools systems attempting to reduce their budgets by consolidation, closing and layoffs this reduction in funding is going to make operations even more difficult. This has caused more tension between lawmakers and the teacher’s union, who are already discussing a strike.
Until Michigan can build a positive economy, people will continue to vote with their feet and flee the state. The people leaving are typically families, and as these family leave, so does the student base. Decreasing student bodies combined with a reduction in funding will give many schools no choice but to consolidate.
With consolidation, I believe their will be a new resurgence in private schools and home schooling. Overall, this result will likely be good thing since the education of our children is a local issue and not a federal or even state issue.