Since 2011, state spending on public schools increased by 6.4 percent. The problem is not with Lansing. The problem with our predecessors became symptomatic in 1982 and a solution is not as easy as cutting salaries. The difficulty Alpena and other schools are having is legacy structure. Cutting teachers' salaries isn't a sustainable solution because teachers' salaries are not the problem - public school pensions and retirement benefits are the problem, and that is where the majority of the "per-pupil" funding increasingly goes - not to actually educate the students.