Nothing More Certain Than Taxes and School Officials Wanting More of Them

Education funding keeps increasing, schools still want more

In a discussion about public school funding in the statewide news site MLive, Ann Arbor Public Schools board treasurer Harmony Mitchell made this comment: “If you would just take half of what you’re giving to corrections and fund schooling, you wouldn’t have to fund corrections in the first place. I think the priorities are somehow messed up here.”

ForTheRecord says: The state budgeted $2.0 billion for corrections in the 2016-17 fiscal year, so Mitchell’s suggestion comes to an additional $1.0 billion in school funding.

From 2012-13 through the current school year, the amount of state tax dollars allocated to public education in Michigan rose from $11.2 billion to $12.3 billion. That was a $1.1 billion increase. There is still crime in Michigan, and the public school establishment is still asking for more tax dollars.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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