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      Rep. Oakes calls for Gov. Snyder to restore 'devastating' school cuts

      State Representative Stacy Erwin Oakes (D-Saginaw) is calling for Governor Rick Snyder to restore the devastating budget cuts to Michigan's schools and protect the state's School Aid Fund from unnecessary raids in the future.

      Rep. Oakes sent out a Michigan House advisory Monday, stating, | The Governor wants the best for his children, and so do the rest of us " but the average resident cannot afford to send their children to a $20,000-a-year private school like he does. The state has a responsibility to invest in public schools so that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become healthy, productive members of our community."

      The state budget was passed earlier this month, that results in up to $470 per pupil cuts. Schools are eligible to receive a $100 break if they complete the best financial practices set in place by the Governor. Schools are also eligible to receive another $100 credit for employee benefits.

      In an earlier NBC25 story, when referring to the entire $4.7 billion state budget, Governor Snyder stated, We TMve made the difficult but necessary decisions that will keep spending in check and put Michigan on the path to prosperity. This achievement shows what our state can accomplish when we all work together...

      Rep. Oakes, however, says Gov. Snyder rushed through a state budget that raided hundreds of millions of dollars from the School Aid Fund to subsidize an 82 percent tax break for corporations, resulting in a $470 per-pupil cut. She states, Considering that the School Aid Fund had a $900 million surplus, the severe cuts were completely unnecessary. As school districts finalize their budgets for the upcoming year, we are seeing the impact that these cuts, the largest in almost two decades, will have on the classrooms and the quality of our children's education.

      In light of the state financial cuts, the Saginaw School District is reducing it TMs budget by at least $9.2 million, which Oakes says will force the district to slash 89 position, including 53 full-time teachers.

      Opponents to the budget cuts have created an online petition against the spending plan.