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October 30, 1981 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-10-30

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 30, 1981-Page 9

State unveils school aid plan

LANSING (UPI) - State School
Superintendent Phillip Runkel announ-
ced yesterday he is preparing at the
request of state legislative leaders a
measure providing receiverships' for,
bankrupted school districts.
Runkel stressed this would not in-
volve any bailout of the affected distric-
ts, and would not guarantee thalt
schools there would remain open.
AN AIDE to House Speaker Bobby
Crim said one proposal would call for
*the state receiver to operate the
destitute district pending the outcome
of a last ditch millage vote. If all else
failed, he said, the district would be
dissolved or incorporated into a neigh-
Alpena
ALPENA (UPI) - The day of
decision arrives today in Alpena Count
ty: Voters must decide whether they
would rather pay higher taxes or see
their public schools remain closed in-
definitely.
Alpena's countywide school district
Oct.16 earned the dubious distinction of
becoming the first Michigan public'
school system since the Depression to
close for lack of funds. All 14 public
schools were closed, putting more than
6,800 students and 500 employees on the
streets.
VOTERS THREE times have refused

boring one.
An Education Department
spokeswoman said the receiver could
try to keep the. schools running on a
bare-bones basis.
Runkel said the legislation might be
ready within a week._
CONCERN ABOUT the financial
fate of Michigan schools has been
mounting in recent weeks with news of
closings and threatened closings
coming from a number of communities.
The Alpena schools in northern lower
Michigan closed due to failure of, a
millage vote - the first district to do so
since the Great Depression. Voters
there go to the polls again today.

The Taylor schools in suburban
Detroit are threatening to close some
time next month for the same reason and
several others, including those in Pon-
tiac, are also in trouble.
STATE OFFICIALS, including Gov.
William Milliken, have staunchly in-
sisted the answer to these schools'
problems lie in the districts themselves'
-not in Lansing which itself is strapped
for funds.
Attorney General Frank Kelley lent
support to the stance Wednesday by
saying the state has no constitutional

obligation to fund schools in districts
where'voters will no approve needed
taxes.
"There's no bailout and I want to be
very emphatic on that," Runkel said of
the latest proposal which would involve
no increase in state aid.
Runkel said he was asked by the
"majority leader and the minority
leader of both houses" to draft the
receivership legislation.
He called such a measure "an option
we have to consider."

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ I

votes on school tax today

to increase property taxes. Today they
will be asked to renew a levy of $20.25
per $1,000 assessed valuation and ap-
prove an additional levy of $3.45 per
$1,000.
Both measures will provide the
district with an operating budget of
$15.2 million, an amount that would be
reduced by approximately $1.2 million
if the additional request fails.
Bruce Connon, an elementary prin-
cipal and administration spokesman,
said schools could reopen as early as.
Nov. 3 if the proposal is approved. The
actual opening date depends on when

the district is able to obtain loans or
state aid in anticipation of tax money
that will be collected later, he said.
IF BOTH issues are rejected, the
school board likely will attempt another
election before the end of November, he
said.
In each of the earlier elections, the
renewal and additional levies were
combined because the school board
said too many program cuts would be
required if the district were to operate
on the renewal alone.
District officials pointed out that
busing,, elementary music, libraries,

extracurricular activities and athletics
would have to be eliminated if ad-
ditional taxes were not approved.
Superintendent John Taylor said the
question was split, however, to satisfy a
great number of people who requested
the option of simply renewing the taxes
already levied.
That split has created a deep division
between City and rural voters. Many
rural voters say they will oppose the en-
tire tax question because their children
will not receive bus service if only the
renewal is passed.
Support the
March of Dimes
8IJJM DEFECTS FOtDATION
FOL LETTAFS
MICHG A N OOK STORE
by

Are offers too good to be true?

(continued from Page 1)
aid consultant in the Department of
Education.
"THOUSANDS and tlhousands of
scholarship programs are available,
but to a very narrow category of
people," said Larry Gladieux,'director
of the College. Board office in
Washington. Lynn Borset, a represen-
tative of the University's office of'
Financial Aid agreed, saying that a
wide spectrum of people and
organizations offer scholarships, but
that eligibility requirements for most
are very narrow.
While admitting that there are some
odd scholarships - such as one for
students who play the biagpipe,- there
is also money for the average student,
Rothenberger said.
"There are some, oddball (scholar-
ships) out there and every once in a
while some one hits the bank," said
federal official Peterson.
THE BEST approach in finding
scholarship funds, said financial aid of-
ficials, is for students to look in their
own backyards.
Students should work with their
families and draw up lists of clubs and
organizations to which they belong and
check with those organizations, they
said.
Next, students should go to libraries
and financial aid offices and look
through books that list private scholar-
ships.
ROSENWASAER, of Student College
Aid however, claimed it would take an
- individual student 4,500 hours to hunt
down all scholarship sources.
Financial aid officials disagreed.
Source books are cross-referenced,
they said, and students can eliminate
quickly many scholarships that do not
apply to them by asking themselves

questions about their backgrounds and
goals, they said.
In addition to problems students can
encunter in finding adequate sources of
funds, financial-aid officials said they
believe other claims made by locator
services are misleading.
FOR EXAMPLE, they dispute the
claim that $135 million went unused
during 1978-79 school year, saying they
doubt that much money sits idle.
"The (money) that goes unused
might be for a Bennington left-handed
catcher," said a, Huron High School
counselor Rip Kenney."I'd love to have
them show proof of that $135 million,"
said Kinney.
Representatives of thejthiee com-
panies varied in their answers. Rosen-
wasser said the Christian Science
Monitor conducted a study and found
$135 million went unclaimed.
MARY ANN MAXIN, executive
director of Scholarship Search, said her
service got the figure from a study done
by the Counsel for Financial. Aid for
Education.
Rothberger meanwhile, cited infor-
mation from her company's computer.

In addition to those problems, finan-
cial aid officials claimed that the
money-back guarantee offered by sear-
ch services is a ploy. A student should
make sure that the "fine print" in the
service contract guarantees private
sources that apply to the student Peter-
son said.
Gladieux of the College Board said he
doubted whether a computer data-base
could be kept current enough to provide
a viable service to students.
"THERE IS A certain mystique
about computers. You think you can
just push a button and get infor-
mation," he said.
The.College Board, in conjuction with
a private company, attempted to
provide a similar scholarship search
service, but found it too difficult to keep
computed files current, he said.
Company officials said research to
keep files up-to-date was the most ex-
pensive portion of their services, but
added that it is not an overwhelming
problem.
"Unless you have a unique set of cir-
cumstances in your background, I
would be careful in dealing with these
enterprises," Peterson warns.

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