State Senator John Gleason and State Representative Jim Ananich held a town hall meeting last night which focused on the current state of education. The event was attended by other local leaders including Genesee Intermediate School District Superintendent Lisa Hagel and Assistant Secretary Treasurer for Flint Schools Isaiah Oliver. Concerned parents were also on hand to voice their concerns over school funding and issues in the classroom.

The event featured a breakdown of the budget shortfall of each school district in Genesee County due to state spending cuts. The funding cuts were made by the Republican-led legislature earlier this year, in part, to pay for a $1.8 billion corporate tax break. Both Gleason and Ananich opposed the cuts and noted the budget shortfalls have already led to larger class sizes which may ultimately have a negative impact on students' health and well being.

"The budget cuts made earlier this year have put the quality of education in this state in serious jeopardy," said Senator Gleason. "We can't make major reforms to our schools while they're struggling to keep their heads above water. Restoring the funds that were cut and stabilizing the schools' funding needs to take top priority."

Ananich, a former teacher and member of the School Aid Fund budget committee said "our students won't be able to compete for good jobs unless we make sure they can succeed in school." He added  that "shortchanging local schools has already resulted  in direct job losses in our community and threatens to cost us jobs in the future. It didn't have to happen this way and we must make sure it doesn't happen again."