One hundred four years of editorial freedom
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By JONATHAN BERNDT
Daily Staff Reporter
For about 80 percent of the University's undergraduates,
the road to Ann Arbor ran through a public high school.
For the last 15 months, no issue has concerned
Michigan's politicians more than educating the 1.6 mil-
lion K-12 students in the state.
In July 1993, the Legislature approved an amendment
proposed by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, now Howard Wolpe's
running mate on the Democratic ticket, eliminating prop-
ty taxes as the primary method of school funding. But
the bill did not specify how to replace the $6.1 billion
dedicated to school funding.
But the story began four years ago, when then-Sen.
Majority Leader John Engler promised to slash property
taxes. During a debate with Gov. James Blanchard,
Engler produced a nickel, implying that five cents was
what Blanchard's tax relief proposal would save the
average taxpayer. He promised to do better.
Engler jumped at this chance, urged the Legislature to
C cify the sources for the replacement revenue by the
dof the year, and backed the ballot proposal that came
out of a marathon Christmas Eve session.
Compared to last year, the proposal made a radical
lshift in the funding formula.
"At that time, the state furnished 30 percent and the
local districts were coming up with 70 percent. It now
does 80 percent and the local district does 20 on average,"
said Robert Harris, a spokesman for the state Board of
Education, which sets policy for the state's 557 districts.
Almost a third of the new revenue comes from the
o-cent increase in the sales tax rate, which took effect
ay 1. Tobacco taxes, a real estate transfer tax and a new
lottery game will provide the rest of the funding.
"The property tax, for all its problems, is a very stable
tax. The sales tax is much more susceptible to the busi-
ness cycle," said Philip Kearney, a University education
professor who has researched funding and policy issues.
"If you get a downturn in the economy, you've got a
Such a downturn is exactly what some economists,
;tcluding Robert Klein of Public Sector Consultants, an
'dependent policy firm in Lansing, foresee.
See FUNDING, Page 2
be tested for
WASHINGTON - The man accused of riddling the
White House with semiautomatic gunfire was charged in
federal court yesterday with four offenses and ordered to
undergo a 24-hour psychiatric examination to determine
U.S. attorneys said they wanted
Francisco Martin Duran examined be-
cause a second handwritten letter au-
thorities found in his truck "raises ques-
tions whether he is competent to pro-
ceed" with further court hearings. .
Law enforcement officials earlier
said they had confiscated a note from
Duran that they characterized as "closer Duran
to a will than a suicide note."
Duran, a 26-year-old ex-convict, was formally charged
with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, destruc-
tion of federal property, assault on a federal officer and
unlawful use of a firearm during the commission of a
felony. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 35
years in prison.
Duran is charged in the firing of 20 to 30 rounds from
a Chinese-made SKS semiautomatic rifle into the White
House Saturday afternoon while tourists scrambled in
horror. Three citizens tackled Duran as he tried to reload.
Secret Service agents scaled the White House fence to
U.S. Attorney Eric Holder said it was too early to
determine a motive. But at a meeting with reporters
yesterday, White House chief of staff Leon Panetta said
there was "some evidence" that Duran "came here intend-
ing to target the president." He did not elaborate on what
the evidence was.
Panetta said he talked with senior Secret Service
officials yesterday who expressed concern that the shoot-
ing would spur copycat attacks.
Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, whose department
oversees the Secret Service, Monday announced the for-
mation of a committee to review security at the White
The overview was set more than a month ago, after a
See GUNMAN, Page 12
Electrical engineering eenior Rob Johnson, in ghoulish attire, plays piano in the North Campus Commons yesterday.
Court wIL rehear reigon case
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON -- Reacting to
widespread complaints from Chris-
tian legal advocates, the Supreme
Court said yesterday that it will re-
consider a lower court ruling that bars
a state university from subsidizing a
student magazine because it espouses
an "avowedly Christian" perspective.
In recent years, Christian legal
groups have complained that the high
court's insistence on a strict separa-
tion of church and state sometimes
translates into discrimination against
mainstream religious groups.
For example, some school and state
college officials have said that their
institutions may subsidize student
groups which promote feminism, en-
vironmentalism, gay rights or a vari-
ety of other causes but they may not
subsidize student groups that promote
This approach "strips religious
speakers of their constitutional pro-
tection" to freedom of speech and
"condones discrimination against re-
ligion," according to lawyers for a
Christian students' group at the Uni-
versity of Virginia.
Their complaints now have won a
hearing at the high court.
Last year, the court intervened
when a school district refused to rent
its auditorium to a group that espoused
Christian values, even though it al-
lowed other groups to use the facility.
In overturning that discriminatory
policy, the justices said that public
officials must treat religious groups
like all others when their doors are
opened to outsiders.
The University of Virginia case
gives the court a chance to decide
whether the same rule applies when
government subsidies are disbursed.
During the 1990-91 school year,
118 student groups on the
Charlottesville campus received sub-
sidies from a mandatory student fee,
including 15 groups that publish
magazines or newspapers.
See COURT, Page 2
68 die as plane crashes in northern Indiana
ause of crash
ROSELAWN, Ind. (AP) - An American
Eagle commuter plane crashed yesterday in a
cornfield in northwest Indiana during a driving
rainstorm, killing all 68 people aboard.
Flight 4184 from Indianapolis to Chicago
*ent down 30 miles south of Gary at about 4
.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The heavy rain forced authorities to quickly
call off the search of the area until today.
American Eagle would not speculate on the
possible cause of the crash, airline spokeswoman
Debbie Weathers said. State police said there
were no survivors, according to the FAA.
"Debris was so scattered, you really couldn't
tell if there was an airplane out there," said
Michael Schwanke, a reporter with WLQI radio
* Rensselaer who was at the site.
"People around the area were telling me that
there was just nothing left," he said.
The plane was descending from an altitude
of 10,000 feet to 8,000 feet when it disappeared
Child killed in
arson s pree
DETROIT (AP) - Good weather was bad
news for the city as firebugs rekindled the an-
nual Devil Night's arson spree that had been
under control in recent years, mayor Dennis
Archer said yesterday.
Archer and fire officials said fires on the
night before Halloween were up significantly
*om the same day a year earlier, snapping a
three-year record of declining fires. He said
figures would be released today.
Other fire outbreaks were reported in the
Detroit enclave of Hamtramack and in
Washtenaw County's Ypsilanti Township.
"Last year, the temperature was cold, it was
from radar screens at Chicago's O'Hare Air-
port, said Don Zochert with the FAA.
The plane had been circling in a holding
pattern before it began its descent, said Tim
Smith, a spokesman for American Eagle.
People on the scene said there was driving
rain at the time of the crash and that it was too
dark to see much in the area. Winds were gust-
ing up to 49 mph in Gary, Ind., the closest
reporting station, the National Weather Service
Bob Stone, a hunter, said he heard the plane's
engines just before the crash.
"I could here a motor winding out and it
sounded like thunder and then there was a crash
and I didn't hear anything else," Stone said.
Kathy Philpot, a spokeswoman for the Lake
County coroner's office, said workers were told
to call off the search for bodies and return to the
Jasper County Sheriff Steve Reames said the
Newton County sheriff's department had set up
a command post near the crash site.
"We've had torrential rains all day, and right
now there's such a downpour. They're almost
unable to go out - we're talking open farm
country," Reames said.
By SCOT WOODS
Daily Staff Reporter
Tonight's 13th congressional dis-
trict debate at the Law School will
proceed on schedule, but with one
major change: Republican candidate
John Schall will not attend.
Schall's campaign told event or-
ganizers late Saturday that schedul-
ing conflicts would prevent Schall
from attending, but he would be will-
ing to send a surrogate.
Members of the LSA Student Gov-
ernment (LSASG) and the Law School
Student Senate, who began planning
the event Sept. 22, said they were not
pleased with Schall's withdrawl.
LSASG President Ryan Boeskool,
himself a Republican, said of Schall's
withdrawl: "We feel it's a slap in the
face to all the hard work we've been
trying to do."
Annie Boyer, co-chair of the
senate's Speakers Committee, said,
"It's really an eleventh-hour default."
Boyer said surrogates would not
be permitted to speak, but a chair will
be ready for Schall, should he decide
That leaves Democrat Lynn Riv-
ers and three minor-party candidates
- socialist Helen Halyard, running
as an independent, the Natural Law
Party's Gail Petrosoff, and Libertar-
See DEBATE, Page 12
Rescue workers from Shelby, Ind., unload equipment less than 100 yards from the cornfield in
northwestern Indiana where an Eagle commuter plane crashed killing all 68 aboard yesterday.
~. GOL' I
- -~ h i g h - l e v e l p o s
WASHINGTON (AP) - Prominent Re-
publicans are rejecting and undercutting their
own candidates in remarkable fashion this year,
exposing fault lines within the party and ham-
pering GOP campaigns in several states.
Republicans stand to make substantial elec-
toral gains next Tuesday. Yet some high-profile
party members are engaged in what could
amount to political fratricide.
The latest Republican defector is Los Ange-
les mayor Richard Riordan, who endorsed
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein over the
weekend. New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
led the way last week with his dramatic verbal
embrace of Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo.
Some Democratic candidates are aggres-
sively promoting their independence from Presi-
dent Clinton, who has erratic approval ratings.
But that type of distancing is more routine in a
midterm election year than the high-profile
defections plaguing the GOP.
In the final week before the election, the
crossovers are drawing charges of treason from
See GOP, Page 12
Bosman forces clash with Serbs Ms
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) -
Government forces that have handed Bosnian
Serbs their worst defeats in 2 1/2 years of war
U.N. peacekeepers confirmed that govern-
ment forces pushed back Serb troops in north-
western Bosnia. Bosnia's official radio reported
After 50 years, Martha
Graham's "Appalachian Spring"
dance still moves an audience.