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Superintendents blast education budget

The Michigan state capitol building
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Michigan Capitol Building, Lansing, Michigan

As Michigan schools begin their new budget year this week, some local superintendents are urging lawmakers to return from their summer break to boost education funding.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new education budget last week that boosts funding for all public schools by at least $50 per student. But Forest Hills Schools Superintendent Dan Behm says districts face new costs that wipe out that minimum increase.

“Over half-a-million children will receive less money next year than they did this year,” Behm told reporters Tuesday. “And that impacts our classrooms. And that’s unacceptable in a time of budget surplus.”

“The net effect for (those) classrooms … is that there will be $10 less per student next year compared to this year.”

The governor’s office points out only the highest-funded schools, like Forest Hills, will get that minimum increase.

“So, the high-revenue districts received $50 per pupil. The districts who are trying to play catch-up – which is a majority of districts – received $175 per pupil,” said Dave Murray, a spokesperson for Gov. Snyder.

Murray was not able to comment on whether some schools will see overall decreases when new costs are factored in.