SHORT TAKES: How about them Jackets?

By Daily News • Last Updated 10:43 am on Monday, January 16, 2012

There are plenty of games still to be played this season, but the Greenville Yellow Jackets have jumped out to a sterling 9-0 record and the league lead in the OK White conference. After a decisive win against a tough Grand Rapids Christian team, they’re back on the road this week.

Both boys and girls squads will be playing at Holland tomorrow and Lowell on Friday. Varsity basketball returns to Greenville next week, with games here on Friday the 27th.

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State School Superintendent Mike Flanagan announced this week that the number of state school districts facing deficits is climbing and that of the 48 districts in the red, 22 of them were in over $1 million.
Some blame the $470 per student cut in state K-12 funding for the growing red ink. In any case, the problem is a lack of adequate state revenue.

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Nevertheless, on Thursday, Senate Democrats proposed a state-of-Michigan version of the Kalamazoo promise.
Kalamazoo’s privately funded program guarantees scholarship grants to graduates of that city’s public schools. The recently proposed state taxpayer-funded program would grant tuition and associated costs for Michigan high school graduates at the state’s community colleges and public universities. The projected cost of the program would begin at $1.8 billion, roughly double the money recently cut from K-12 funding.

The money would apparently come from the elimination of corporate tax credits in that amount.

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The plan is unquestionably a worthy challenge. It also gives a hand up to the young folks who, if they stay in Michigan, will be inheriting an already formidable public debt.

To be fair however, any redistribution of public monies on that scale should consider that a cash-strapped state has been cutting services and adding fees for some time now. Revenue sharing has dropped precipitously; and local governments are struggling to provide basic police and fire protection, and to maintain roads and public facilities. Social services are being pushed to the limit.

We need bold and forward-looking ideas, just as we need leaders to push us to better times. We need jobs, and we need the companies that provide those jobs. We need a strong and solvent K-12 school system. The big picture shows that a lot of worthy institutions are struggling. When it’s time to decide how new money will be allocated, there should be plenty of seats at the table.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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