Friday, June 25, 2010

Thousands of Teachers Rally in Lansing for Education Funding

What the legislators saw from the 4th floor of the Capitol. It's more impressive in the 1000 px view.

Ooo, are those teachers mad... they came to Lansing by the thousands, they have signs, they have loud voices, they have motivation, and they have lists. Lists of Democrats who made bad votes last year. They are no happy with you guys, and a couple of times the word "November" was mentioned by the speakers at the rally. You've been warned. Could be why Speaker Dillon and the House Dems are suddenly defending the School Aid fund from the Republicans...

Negotiations over the state's K-12 schools budget remain at an impasse. Republicans from the Senate want to use some of the schools money to fill holes in other areas of the budget. But House Democrats say they don't want to do that.

House Speaker Andy Dillon says lawmakers appeared to reach a deal yesterday. It later fell apart.

"So I thought we would get it done today, but the Senate appears to want to hold the school budget and the kids hostage to solve the current year shortfall, and I don't want to use the school aid fund money to do that."

Looks like the Speaker is trying to make up some lost ground. Dillon, in a campaign post last night, is proclaiming that he is standing up for education, and will not raid the School Aid fund to cover the shortfall in other areas of the budget.


But we heard that last year.

Until Dillon and the House Dems really make it stick, and present a comprehensive plan that funds the budget that they say they want, it's just so much noise. Bishop is already saying "No, no, no", of course - so, what now? Got the spine to take this to a shutdown? Or, will we see yet another capitulation, and pass whatever the Republicans want, only to see them turn around and use the cuts against Democrats this year?

Unknown as of this writing. The teachers have already endorsed Bernero, who came to speak at the rally with his elementary school principal wife Teri. Here they are below with MEA president Iris Salters....


The crowd seemed very enthused to hear his speech; plenty of Bernero signs and stickers were around. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out with the unions splitting the endorsements - I get the impression there are a bunch of educators who will not turn out for Dillon in November if he wins the primary.

But, if he manages to get a good budget done, that could change...