Weekly Political Roundup: Buena Vista schools, Democrat Mark Schauer

May 10, 2013

Each week, we talk Michigan politics with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.

This week the Buena Vista School District closed due to a lack of funds. The state took away funding because the district was taking money from the state for a program they were no longer operating.

Teachers in that district offered to work for free, but the district closed anyway. Now, the state says their hands are tied.

"Well this is a big issue. We haven't had a school district close because of lack of funding for 20 years. That was Kalkaska in 1993, which really precipitated the passage of Proposal A, school finance reform. Buena Vista is a small district...and these 400 kids have to be in the classroom. I don't think there is any question about that in anybody's mind. And, the state and local officials are going to have to figure out a way  to get these children back into a classroom immediately," said Sikkema.

In other news, there has been some murmuring about a possible Democratic candidate for Governor. Congressman Mark Schauer's name is out there, so what do we know about him?

"He comes from Battle Creek actually, where the Governor [Synder] is from...but it always helps to be from a more well known area like southeast Michigan. So, he's not well known...but Mark is very personal, he's very media savvy, and I think the Democrats are going to coalesce around him," said Demas.