Saturday, July 10, 2010

School Aid Act

MEA sent this information to local leaders. It is a summary of the School Aid Act.

The Governor signed the 2010-11 School Aid Act yesterday with a few vetoes. You have received updates, but here are all of the important items in one place:

1. All districts will receive an additional $11 per pupil for 2009-10. The money will be distributed to districts in the July 2010 and August 2010 state school aid payment. This has the effect of reducing the cut in the foundation allowance from $165 to $154 per pupil for 2009-10. This is extra money for 2009-10 that the district did not budget.

2. For next year, districts will receive the same foundation allowance that they received in 2009-10. Most districts budgeted an additional reduction in the foundation allowance for 2009-10. The foundation allowance will not be reduced, and will actually be $11 per pupil higher than it was at the beginning of 2009-10.

3. For example – if a district’s foundation allowance was $7,165 per pupil in 2008-09, that district started out the 2009-10 year thinking it would see a cut of $165 per pupil, or an effective foundation allowance of $7,000 for 2009-10. That district will actually receive $7,011 per pupil for 2009-10. That district will also receive $7,011 per pupil in 2010-11.

4. There is no provision to restore the 20j payments in 2010-11. (The section that would have restored up to ½ of the 20j funds if a tax amnesty bill passed was vetoed by your governor.)

5. Declining enrollment, At-Risk, School Readiness, Special Education, Adult Education, and Vocational education categoricals are largely unchanged from 2009-10.

6. The 5-hour online PD requirement is eliminated.

7. Districts are still allowed to count up to 38 hours of PD as instruction if it takes place when students are not scheduled for class. It can occur any time between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.

8. Districts are NOT allowed to count a PD day as an instructional day to meet the instructional day requirement. PD can only be used to meet the instructional hour requirement (1,098 hours).

9. The instructional day requirement remains the same as current law: Districts must provide at least 165 days of instruction in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and at least 170 days of instruction in 2012-13. In addition, districts can’t provide fewer instructional days than they provided in 2009-10. If a district had 173 days in 2009-10, it has to have at least 173 in 2010-11 and beyond.

10. The “30 hours worth” of snow days is changed to the number of days "equivalent" to 30 hours, which for most districts would be between 5 and 6 days. In other words, districts are allowed to count between 5 to 6 days that are cancelled due to uncontrollable circumstances toward the day requirement.

11. A “day” for the purposes of meeting the day requirement is still not defined. In the past, if students came to school, the day counted as an instructional day. So far, the MDE has not published any rules about days having to be at least a certain number of hours.

12. The MPSERS rate increased from 16.94% in 2009-10 to 19.41% in 2010-11. There is no indication that the 3% tax on school employees will reduce this rate.

13. The $500,000 grant for Pontiac Schools that was included in the conference report was vetoed by the governor.

14. The $300,000 grant for a new Agriculture program at Saginaw Valley State University was vetoed by the Governor.

Interesting Tidbits

Interesting information sent via emails to local leaders regarding one of the counties in our state.

"The new (3%) added tax on employees will take $3,000,000.00 out of the local economy.

$3 million dollars that will not be spent at the local grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters and donations to local charities. [This]County has had one of the highest unemployment rates in the State and now we are going to take another hit. If we here in [this county] are going to lose $3 million, what does that mean for the State of Michigan?"

MEA Response:
"It means more than $200 million out of the state economy (perhaps as much as $300 million according to House and Senate Fiscal’s analysis of the conference report on SB 1227). That’s a fact we need to continue mentioning in our communities going forward…it’s a topic we touched on in the immediate aftermath of the bill’s passage (see attached copy of MEA Votes e-newsletter). I think [this] angle on it is a good one to revisit – especially where lawmakers voted for SB 1227, voters ought to be aware what that vote cost their local economy."

We should be asking, How will this impact Kentwood's economy? So should the businesses in our community!