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K-12 conference committee approves deep per-student cut

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – A spending plan approved by a state legislative panel would cut funding to K-12 schools by $218 for every student.

Representative Terry Brown chaired the K-12 House and Senate conference committee. He says declining revenues from sales and property taxes are taking a toll on public education.

"It all affects the schools," he says. "These things affect us and we have been just continually hit by those things. So schools are struggling. Beyond this, most schools are struggling because they've got declining enrollments - which exacerbates the problem."

The budget bill cuts the early childhood education program by about 25%. But the bill allows schools to shift money they receive for transportation and special education to cover their operating costs.

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