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Open Letter to House Speaker Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Bishop

Dear Speaker Dillon and Senator Bishop, On behalf of Michigan Parents for Schools, including parents and concerned citizens across the state, I ask you to do your utmost to craft a budget agreement which invests in our public schools rather than pulling the props out from under them at this critical time. Hundreds of parents and citizens from across Michigan have used the tools we made available to contact Gov. Granholm and their state Legislators, letting their lawmakers know that they value their public schools and are willing to make financial sacrifices to keep them strong. I know many more have written letters and messages on their own, and for each person who has spoken out there are hundreds - if not thousands - more who value, and want to protect, their public schools. Strong and vibrant public schools are crucial to our communities and our economy. Stable, high-quality schools are important to attracting the employers of today as well as preparing for the jobs of tomorrow. In difficult times, it is everyone's responsibility to make sure public money is spent wisely, but our schools have been paring back for some time. To have good schools, we must be able to attract and retain talented professionals, have quality facilities, and provide adequate and stable funding going forward. Relying on an unstable funding source makes it impossible for districts to plan ahead sensibly, or to take on the kind of initiatives which hold great promise for our children's education. Many districts have seen their per-pupil funding stagnate once inflation is taken into account, while costs which are not under their control rise rapidly. Parents are frustrated and worried, teachers are dispirited, and administrators feel as though their backs are against a wall. If a proration is made to school aid this year, this would be the third time in five years in which state aid for education came up short. Since its inception, our nation has valued public education and has been willing to pay for it. If you listen to the heartfelt messages from people across the state, it’s clear that the citizens of Michigan are no different. Please help us invest in our schools by making adequate and secure funding a reality for public education. Sincerely, Steven J. Norton
Executive Director
Michigan Parents for Schools
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