Cinco de Mayo Event to Rally for Education Advocacy

Cinco de Mayo Event to Rally for Education Advocacylori davis ad

(Guest Column by Karen Twomey, Ferndale School Board, April 29, 2014)

 

So often in the past, I or another advocate friend have come to you requesting you write letters to your legislator complaining about something. This time is different, that is not what I am asking. You may be aware that right now our Lansing legislators are discussing the budget, including the education budget. Currently there are three versions, one from the Governor, Senate and House. Each proposal has areas that seed027_essential_massagewould further challenge our schools. I want to make sure you know there is a fourth option.  A coalition of educational groups decided not to complain but to collaborate on a package complete with gift wrap and a bow known as the Classroom and Kids Budget.  We need you to help us invite your legislators to introduce this budget in Lansing. More importantly, we need each of you to find two friends from other districts to do the same.

Here are some of the bullet points you can use to describe why we are so confident that this is a gift on a silver platter. The Classroom and Kids Budget Proposal would:

  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility as it works largely within the footprint of the Governor’s proposal. The goal of the package is to be more efficient with allocated tax dollars by streaming money directly to classrooms. Admittedly, the proposal is $54 million above the Governor’s budget; this would not be an increased investment, it simply holds this year’s general fund contribution level with that New Harvest Homes NHHof last year.
  • ~Eliminate many of the cumbersome “categoricals” or special pots of money with designated uses and associated paperwork.  Removing the restrictions on these funds would create more sustainable funding, reduce administrative costs and increase the flexibility districts need to address educational issues specific to their district.
  • ~Increase the foundation allowance and provide up to $291 per pupil – an improvement on what Gov. Snyder proposed ($111 per pupil).
  • ~Provide additional funds to At-Risk students and minimum foundation districts, offering an increased ability to help the students most in need of help.
  • ~Ensure local communities maintain control over local schools. According to a recent poll of the Glengariff Group Michigan voters said local school leaders do a better job of holding schools accountable dda_ad_01by a margin of 79.2%-to-9.4%.
  • ~Provide the sponsoring legislator’s huge public support and political capital.  Voters surveyed by the Glengariff Group supported the proposal by a margin of 75.4%to10.2% — with 43.1% strongly supporting the proposal.

 

Anyone interested in helping us may do so individually, or join us at an upcoming event. Monday, May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) at 7:00 pm at the Harding Administration Building in Ferndale the External Relations Committee will be hosting an opportunity to collectively get out the word. This will be a Mexican Potluck event complete with “mock-aritas.” Join us, and bring a friend.  Supporters from other districts are encouraged to come as well!

Karen Twomey

Secretary, Chair of External Relations

Ferndale Board of Education

ktwomey@ferndaleschools.org

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