School Funding ReformGetting From Here to There Michigan EPFP November 16, 2009 Tom White, Chair, SOS
Our Situation Legislative action/in-action? Senate R’s – funding and taxes D’s and reform agenda A “new normal” for Michigan’s Economy Do we know/accept what this means? Deep cuts this year and next… and then? Fewer dollars becomes the new normal? A new system for school funding? Environment
Unprecedented times Gridlock in Lansing Significant risks Need for change Financial Transforming education Blood in the streets necessary? Environment
Save Our Students/Schools/State Coalition started by MELG in September Meeting, December 4 with other groups Three Point Mission Fix Michigan’s school funding system Create a proposal addressing state revenues Coalescing with others About Us
2. Communication and Grass Roots Advocacy Provide materials, information and background Utilize electronic and social media Create system and support for grass roots Provide support, direction, materials MASA Regional Presidents’ role Like never before SOS Mission
SOS Mission • Support efficiency and effectiveness • Open to change • Facilitate thoughtful self-evaluation • In both management and educational processes • Legislative agenda for reform • Goal to reduce costs and increase effectiveness • MASA Lead Forward
Activities • Long-term strategy with short-term elements • Develop Website • Videos, issues papers, supportive information • Developing an infrastructure for a campaign • Speakers bureau, polling, economic analyses • Sharing and shopping ideas/meeting with others • Much more
The ToughQuestions • How do we address the full state budget situation? • Not just about education funding • How do we avoid the tendency for school community to fragment and work at cross purposes?
The Tough Questions • Can this just be about funding of schools? • Openness to change and thoughtful self-evaluation • Generate ideas/actions for both education of students and management of schools • Will schools be willing to tell their stories despite the short-term, “choice” consequences? What will help?
The ToughQuestions • Can we get a groundswell of grassroots support? • Willingness to increase revenues/taxes? • How to engage? • Are schools prepared for, “the new normal”? • What is it? • What should we be doing?
The ToughQuestions • Can we do this legislatively or do we need a ballot proposal? • Can we do this as the school management community alone? • Who can we coalesce with/at what cost?
The Tough Questions • Why can’t K-12 education take cuts like other budget areas? We (the legislature) have cut state government by 20-30%, cities and counties and universities have been cut… why not us? • What about pay and benefits for public school employees?
Messaging • Education is an economic development issue • Good educational systems attract/sustain businesses • Education works for students and society • Just cutting education funding and hoping for the best is like creating potholes and expecting them to fill themselves… it takes a “fix” not wishful thinking
Messaging • We need school funding reform… the status quo is not working for taxpayers or schools LANSING DO YOUR JOB • The impact of funding cuts in our district is/will be… • Reverse the cuts… give us time to prepare
Revenue Options and Issues • Graduated income tax • Loopholes • Sales tax on services • Local options • Fixing infrastructure issues • Fixing the business tax climate
Our Assets • Belief in the value of public education • Evidence/data to support our beliefs • Willingness to transform education • Passion of members of our communities, parents, colleagues • Potential for broad network and support