Easing Education Cuts: Deal Or No Deal?
LANSING (WWJ) – Now that the State of Michigan has a nearly half-billion-dollar budget surplus, the Senate Democratic leader says she expects Republican’s to keep their promise, and put up to $150 million of that money back into education funding.
East Lansing Democrat Gretchen Whitmer said she had a deal in place last week with Republican Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of Monroe that is not being acknowledged by Governor Rick Snyder.
“We had an agreement that the cuts would be down to at least $245-per-pupil, which is a significant improvement from what the governor originally proposed,” Whitmer said.
“We had an agreement, and now they’re back-tracking. So, yeah, I am frustrated. I don’t know how you can move the state of Michigan forward and leave forced cuts on our schools that are unnecessary. These dollars need to go toward education, and they need to live up to the promise of that,” she said.
Speaking to WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick last week, Governor Snyder downplayed reports of a deal, saying there may have been a miscommunication between Whitmer and Richardville.
But Snyder didn’t rule out taking another look at school cuts.
“If there’s funds available, we should be looking at how we could deal with some of these cuts. These were tough calls,” Snyder said.