Michigan PTA parents hold bake sale to address budget cuts

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

Posted by Jason Rzucidlo - email

Bedford, MI (WTOL) -- Parent-teacher associations across Michigan are selling sweets to send a serious message to lawmakers.

"They're slashing the public schools' budgets," Liz Stieber said.

Hundreds of PTA parents across the state are sounding the alarm about budget cuts being decided in Lansing. One grassroots effort took place at the Food Town Market in Lambertville.

"I have a 4th grader and kindergartner in the district, so I personally feel compelled to help and do whatever I can," Steiber added.

The state has eliminated $80.5 million from the budget by cutting the Michigan Promise Scholarship. That means the students who once qualified just lost out on up to $4,000 in college grants.

The state also continues to cut per-pupil funding. Every public school district will lose $292 for every student enrolled.

For the Bedford schools, where Stieber's kids are enrolled, that amounts to a $1.5 million hit.

"It's been frustrating because you want to build on your programs and programs increase academic achievement," said Dr. Ted Magrum, Superintendent of the Bedford Schools. "You can't do that when you're always in a cutting mode."

Can Lansing afford to hear those frustrations when the entire state is suffering? Steiber says yes. "They can not afford not to listen to us," Steiber said, "Do they actually hear us? That's an excellent question."

Copyright 2009 WTOL. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.