Mr. Kennedy is good at hiding behind his words, but it's difficult to hide behind facts. Show us where the legislature diverted funds, from where? Go where?
Under Proposal A, funding for K-12 is constitutionally protected; it's illegal to use the funds for any other purpose. The Legislature, including Rep. Pettalia, did not divert funding away from education. According to the House Fiscal Agency Office, the legislature increased funding to the education. Between 2011 (Granholm's last budget), and 2013 (Snyder's Administration), State appropriations for K-12 grows by $440 million, while federal support will be cut by $447 million. State Education Appropriation for 2011 was $10,462.7 (million); 2013 is $10,903, (www.house.gov).
The most powerful union in the state is the Michigan Education Association. The MEA is a union. Its job is to fight for its members, not to fight for students' education. An estimated 82 percent of educational funding goes toward wages, healthcare and retirement.
Healthcare for teachers is not constitutionally mandated. Nor is it mandated that taxpayers pay for healthcare for retired public employees. In order to help fund escalating costs of healthcare, the Michigan House and Senate asked for public employees to contribute to the cost of their healthcare. Unions roared.
Reality is anyone who works for a company offering healthcare typically pays a portion. There are many single parent families working three part-time jobs, (without healthcare) to make ends meet; while their taxes pay for policies unions negotiate for members. Michigan taxpayers pay more than $20,000 on average for public employee healthcare while a family's cost for Blue Cross is $2,200, (www.bcbsm.com/index/plans/michigan-health-insurance/comprehensive-health-insurance.html).
Is funding adequate for our educational system? Probably not the system as it is. We must find a stable accountable funding source for educating our children.