Michigan is one of many states struggling to meet educational budget shortfalls in the wake of the coronavirus, and in the Traverse City Record Eagle, the state’s superintendent, Michael F. Rice has put forward a plan to bridge the gap without entertaining cuts to vital educational jobs and services.
Rice reports that “the state’s revenue has declined $6.29 billion in total this year and next, with an estimated $2.39 billion of the drop in the School Aid Fund alone. A $1 billion decline in revenue for schools is a cut of $685 per student.”
His plan includes advocacy on both the state and federal levels, including lobbying Michigan’s legislature to prioritize public education in the budget process, to provide flexibility in rigid state laws during a pandemic, and to help the educational sector lobby congress for more federal funding; as well to lobby congress directly for financial aid that will support faculty, staff, and educational services across the state.
Rice also advocates for equal access to technology in the home, ensuring that children from all socio-economic classes are able to continue learning during pandemic conditions.
Read more about Michigan’s need for congressional aid in order to preserve municipal education jobs and resources, and Rice’s plans for avoiding cuts here.