Schools feeling the pinch with no budget deal

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JACKSON, MICH. (WLNS) — Schools across the state are feeling the pinch as the government fails to reach a budget deal.

Before discussing the impacts her 2020 budget proposal has on students across the state, Jackson High School students got a visit from our state’s top leader Thursday morning.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said, “I ran because I love this state and I saw problems that we needed to fix.”

Governor Whitmer met with a classroom of freshmen. They talked about the importance of public service and their responsibility to help other Michiganders. The governor said her new budget would help them do just that by increasing public education funding.

“This is something that impacts class size, outcomes, support for teachers, wrap around supports for students whether that counselors or psychologist or career navigators,” said Whitmer. “These are the things that improve outcomes for our kids.”

Right now, that budget is just proposed.

Whitmer said, “It’s the biggest step forward in a long time in this state and I’m really proud of that aspect of the budget.”

Governor Whitmer has been working with republicans to make a deal.

Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart said, “The republicans haven’t offered any real alternatives, they’ve given maybe and Ideal here or there, but not a full comprehensive solution or a reaction to the budget as a total and until that we can’t go anywhere.”

This has left school leaders worried about funding.

“You delay technology purchases, you delay vehicle purchases, but the lights still have to turn on,” said Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Beal. “We work very hard to make certain that we’ve got the best curriculum and technology in place for our kids and those are the decisions that weigh in the balance when we play games with the budget.”

Governor Whitmer said, “I’m hoping that the republicans don’t force us into a shutdown. I’m serious about fixing this problem and getting a deal.”

Whitmer introduced her budget proposal back in march with the state fiscal years ending Sep. 30. Both Whitmer and republicans said they are confident a government shutdown can be avoided.

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