Governor Rick Snyder, who while campaigning mentioned the importance of education will move Michigan forward, has cut per-student funding by nearly $500 per student in his overhaul plan (www.freep.com/article/20110218/NEWS05/102180390/Education-Schools-reeling-over-cuts). I agree that major overhauls are needed for public education in Michigan, but the students and working parents like me will be held hostage to the whims of the public education bureaucracy.
Here in Midland we are finally feeling the effects of many decades of mismanaged and ever-increasing government budgets. The student count is down with projections for continuing declines, yet the administration and school board sacrifice every other sacred cow (school closures, teacher and paraprofessional cuts, cuts in busing and programs) but their own income and benefits. This is the same game plan that Snyder is following, not addressing the administrative overhead at all levels of Michigan’s education system while putting the cost-cutting on the backs of the students and working parents.
Schools will cut things like sports, classes, close buildings and busing yet won’t address the overhead costs of a top-heavy administration. It is time for the private-sector working class like myself to come up with alternatives to what legislators and school officials force down our wallets; we need to work directly with the front-line people like teachers, custodians, principals and school staff to get the best out of education for our kids. Too bad that Governor Snyder nor the state and local education administrative staffs won’t step aside and let us handle the problems with educating our kids by face to face talks between parents and school educators instead of the old way of being forced to follow an antiquated system of administrative excess.