Yesterday, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) lamented the legislature wouldn’t restore funding for K-12 education and Promise scholarship grants before the end of the week. That’s when the second-highest paid state legislature in the country begins its Christmas break, which lasts until mid-January. Never mind the State House, under Speaker Andy Dillon’s (D-Redford) supervision—leadership doesn’t really seem to apply—took most of the summer off when they should have been working on the budget. Which brings me to one of the more bizarre things Granholm has said. In case you’re not aware, Michigan’s budget battle for FY-2010 still isn’t done. Granholm hopes it can all be settled before election season. She said:
It’s feasible to do it by the end of February, if they are serious. Look how quickly they have responded to the Race to the Top opportunity. So, if we get that finished this week, which I think we will, it should be a signal that the Legislature can get it done, but they have to agree.
Is Granholm even on the same planet as the rest of us? “Look how quickly they have responded to the Race to the Top opportunity.” I hate to point out the Race to the Top concept came out in February and the program was formally launched in July. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think starting to work on the required legislation in December (4+ months later) really fits my idea of quickly.
The Race to the Top Phase I application is due Jan. 19th. For those not selected, Phase 2 applications are due June 1st. But, before that, there’s a Jan. 11th State Fiscal Stablization Fund deadline. We’ve not heard anything about that in the media. I don’t know if Michigan will meet the Jan. 11th deadline, but politicians are only talking about the Jan. 19th deadline. State Education Superintendent Mike Flanagan said he’d stop the application process if lawmakers didn’t pass the necessary bills. In his early December testimony, Flanagan said:
I’m willing to compromise, on some of the nuances of this in order that you pass some legislation quickly or here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to pull my guys off the application. I am not going to have them work 24/7—and that’s exactly what they’re doing—and pulling them off everything else to make this work if I see that we can’t actually pull of the legislation, or if there’s so many bombs thrown in the way that we have no chance of winning, then I’m going to pull them off. But we can win this.
As holiday break looms for Michigan’s legislature, how are we doing? Surprise! He said, she said. Deadlocked over charter schools and blaming the other party. Michigan’s legislature is the most pathetic, blamethrowing bunch of nincompoops ever in recorded history! They all need to be shit-canned next election, no matter what they’re running for.
No budget, no education, no excuse. No re-election to anything