(Editor's note: The original posting of this story indicated a small - $1.6 million - decrease in state school spending. Another small expediture has since been discovered, causing the overall spending total to become a small increase. The article has been corrected.)
Despite threats of a teachers’ strike and recalls of the governor and other politicians, Michigan’s K-12 public schools will receive $3.1 million more in state funding in 2011-12 than they did the previous year, according to James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
That $3.1 million is a scant 0.03 percent increase from what is an $11 billion state budget for public schools. By comparison, Ann Arbor Public Schools spent about $2.4 million on athletics in 2009.
“There is the same amount of state money going to schools this year as there was last year,” Hohman said.
Hohman said he made the comparisons using figures taken from the last two budgets at the time they were approved. Over the course of a year, those numbers can change. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the 2011-12 budget into law in late June.
Public school officials went into a frenzy over the threat
of cuts. One superintendent asked the governor to turn his school into a prison
so it could get more money. The Michigan Education Association called for a vote for a
teachers’ work stoppage and has said it would support ongoing recall efforts for
politicians who supported the cuts to public schools.
Teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan.
Public schools will see about a $525 million decrease in federal dollars, Hohman said. About $500 million of that is from the end of a one-time injection of stimulus dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Hohman said schools were aware that was a one-time infusion and wouldn’t be continued in 2011-12.
“That’s like someone giving you a gift for $500 million and saying, ‘This is a one-time deal’ and then complaining when you don’t get it again next year,” Hohman said.