Many years ago when I was in school I learned that if I saved my money for something I wanted, I could obtain that thing; but if I spent my savings on other things, I wouldn’t be able to afford the thing I had been saving for.

Why haven’t our state’s leaders and legislators learned this?

Nearly 20 years ago, the voters of Michigan determined that K-12 education was so important to them that our state should save for it; and we began putting aside money which we call the “School Aid Fund.”  Now, when that fund is doing fairly well but other parts of state government are not, there is a move afoot to raid those savings and spend them in unintended ways.

“That’s wrong,” Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Mike Shibler told the media last month.  And he’s correct on several levels.

  • It’s wrong morally.  That money was saved for a specific purpose.  It is thievery, and a violation of the public’s trust to spend it on a different purpose.
  • It’s wrong educationally.  That money was saved to support classroom instruction and to provide our children with life-altering broad and deep curricular and extracurricular educational opportunities.
  • It’s wrong economically.  Gutting public education sends a signal that Michigan is not serious about the quality of life for its citizens or committed to preparing workers to support new businesses and industries.

We’ve invested in K-12 schools, and that money is desperately needed for those schools.  It’s wrong to spend our savings in any other way.

Posted in: Finance


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