2010.02.01. Sally Kruger: More reductions in school revenue?

Written by David Green.

Republican State Senator Jack Brandenburg is proposing a cut in the state sales tax. (http://www.eclectablog.com/2012/01/michigan-republican-has-solution-to.html)

That may sound like a grand idea to those hoping to save a bit on their next major purchase or on tomorrow’s trip to the mall. However, please remember that sales tax is a major source of funding for public schools and helps generate dollars that support local government.

When the shift in funding from property tax to sales tax occurred, the economy was healthy and revenues generated were capable of sustaining communities and schools. As we all know, the economy in Michigan is one of the worst in the country resulting in a huge decrease in local budgets. Public schools and local governments cannot afford any more hits.

In the past year our legislators slashed the funding for education in favor of corporations, and now they want to further decimate this major source of current revenue. Increasing class sizes, cutting programs, and using outdated materials is not the way to provide quality education for our future generations. If we want to educate only the privileged few, then keep it up, Lansing. But if our goal is to provide the best possible education to every student, then public schools need funding.

It’s not just about public schools. I encourage you to have a chat with members of your local government. Our municipalities are suffering, too. Local government officials work tirelessly to make ends meet to provide citizens with police and fire protection, public works and utilities, street maintenance, public libraries, and much more. Cuts in revenue sharing are already a reality and cutting the sales tax is sure to strain local budgets to the breaking point.

Talk of a budget surplus is a joke if those in Lansing see it as simply a way to pass along more to corporations, leaving our local communities and schools to wither away. But hey, those emergency finance managers are out there waiting in the wings to swoop in and rescue us all from government-by-elected-representation!

– Sally Kruger

Gorham Street, Morenci

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    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
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  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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