Background resource information

Tax notes

We’ll use this story to list some of the details behind the taxes which fund the state School Aid Fund. Having these kinds of facts available helps all citizens understand how the system works and the impact any changes would have. [Please be patient as we fill in the blanks.]

Contributors to the School Aid fund:
(excluding Federal funds)

Sales & Use Taxes
FY 2006 contribution: $5.29 billion, 48%

You get what you pay for

You get what you pay for.

When we buy something cheap and it breaks the next day, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Did you know.....?

That over $3.7 million will be cut from this year’s AAPS budget automatically unless the Governor and Legislature find new funds? Or that every school district in the state faces these cuts?

That school districts like Ann Arbor are not allowed to raise new funds to run our schools – we can only cut our budget?

That this would be the third time in five years that the state has had to take back money in the middle of the year because revenues for education were less than expected?

Our letter to the Governor and Legislature

Below is the letter we sent to Governor Granholm and to our local representatives, Senator Liz Brater and Representative Rebekah Warren, on 16 March. If you would like to get involved and participate in our efforts, please send us a message at or use the “Join our email list” link to receive group news and web site updates. Or, feel free to borrow the letter and use it as a framework for your own letter to your elected representatives. Thanks!

Now is the time to be involved, decisions are being made

As we advocate for funds not to be pulled from the schools, we also need to think about how the money that does come into the district is used. For example, if the State does cut funding to our schools and possibly even if it doesn’t, we are facing a middle school restructuring in the Ann Arbor Public School District. We wonder, is this the right thing to do?

What's up with school funding? (on Penguin Talk)

For a fuller discussion of how the school funding system works, and how it came to look this way, check out this article posted on our PTO’s online conference called Penguin Talk. The article reviews the politics behind Proposal A and what’s happened since then. It also has links to some very helpful documents.

Background on school funding

To understand the current debates about school funding, it really helps to know how the current system works, how it came about, and earlier attempts to fix it. In this document we’ll provide links for more information on how school funding currently works in Michigan, and proposals for change.

Things to do *now*

The immediate crisis facing our public schools is the possibility that the state will have to actually take back money promised to all the school districts in Michigan for the current school year. This “proration,” as the law calls it, is caused by a shortfall in the revenues from taxes earmarked for school funding. It’s important to know that the cuts will happen automatically unless the Governor and Legislature find additional funds to fill the gap.

This would be the third time in the last six years that these midyear cuts have been made.

Legislators' contact info

For those of you who’d like to contact your state Representatives and Senators directly, we’ve collected information below for legislators whose districts cover the AAPS district and nearby areas. Where appropriate, their committee membership is noted; the House and Senate Appropriations committees will be tackling any spending questions directly, with new taxes and any reconsideration of school funding being taken up by other committees as appropriate.