State needs to make better education investment

In his State of the State address Gov. Snyder proposed increasing taxes by $1.2 billion a year to improve our transportation infrastructure. This equates to about $120 per vehicle per year. He stated “this is not about costing us money. It is about saving us money and building for the future.” I can’t debate the need to improve our roads, bridges, etc. but I find it ironic that the Governor and legislature have no real plans for investing in our future for public education. It is true that school districts can get a little “extra” money from the state by adopting “best practices” and improving student performance. However, these funds collectively do not even begin to offset about $1 billion transferred from the public school fund and given to business as a tax break. Further, the educational system must jump through all kinds of hoops to demonstrate they deserve this pittance while there were no requirements for business to do anything for their windfall (adding employees; increasing their capital investments; etc.). We simply must trust in the “trickle down” theory.

I can’t argue with some of the good ideas the Governor has about changing the model of public education, but during the transition, our schools need funds to survive. Maybe the Governor and legislature could add a little on the tax for transportation for improvements to education, but that will never happen. Is it any wonder why local districts are asking for additional funds through enhancement millage? Investing in roads is important. Investing in our future in terms of public education is essential.

Paul Mancine Sr.