Michigan Governor Reduces Education Spending by $212M

Chris Christoff:

Gov. Jennifer Granholm today ordered a $212 million additional cut from the state’s public schools, citing worsening tax revenues.
That cut of $127 per pupil comes on top of a $165-per-pupil reduction (which was about a 2.3% cut for most districts) they’ll see under a new, 2009-10 budget for K-12 schools Granholm signed Monday.
“This is not someting I want to be doing at all, but I do want to fix the problem,” she said in a news conference. She said she did it today to give schools time to adjust their budgets.
The order, called a proration notice, takes effect in 30 days unless the Legislature puts more money in the pot. Granholm had said earlier this week that another cut was coming, but the suddenness still caught people off guard.
Schools are squeezed by the state’s economic crunch. Sales tax revenue, which continues to come in below the projections of state economists, are a major source of school funding. About 70% of funding for the state’s 552 school districts and 232 public school academies comes from the state in the form of sales and property tax collections with a lesser amount from the state’s general fund.