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September 02, 2014 - Image 6

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 6A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - fiA

Leaders rally downtown
for increased K-12 funds

Ross begins new initiative to
encourage startup growth

Educators, officials
and residents
criticize Snyder for
education policy
By ALLANA AKHTAR
Daily StaffReporter
Ann Arbor education and local
government leaders joined with
residents Thursday to advocate
for increased funding for the
city's public schools.
Held in Liberty Plaza in down-
town Ann Arbor, the rally high-
lighted statewide budget cuts on
K-12 and higher-level education
and the declining reputation of
Michigan public schools.
The speakers at the event,
which was hosted by Michigan
Teachers and Allies for Change,
included Linda Carter, presi-
dent of the Ann Arbor Educa-
tion Association, Jeanice Swift,
superintendent of Ann Arbor
Public Schools, Rep. Jeff Irwin
(D-Ann Arbor) and Lisa Brown,
the Democratic candidate for
lieutenant governor.
Last week, Education Week
published a nationwide report
card last week comparing edu-
cation within states. Michigan
ranked eighth in the country for
K-12 education quality, 38th in
elementary reading and middle
school math and 40th in overall
high school graduation.
Citing this report, Swift,
the Ann Arbor Public Schools
superintendent, expressed her
frustration with state legislators
and criticized them for failing to
prevent this deterioration.
"While we've been having a
meltdown into mediocrity with
regard to how we fund public
education, other states have
mobilized and moved ahead of
us," she said.
Carter, the president of the

AAEA, echoed this sentiment,
inviting legislators into class-
rooms to assess the declining
condition of public schools.
Encouraging protesters to
sing along to her rendition of
a workers' union anthem, she
rallied the crowd of fellow edu-
cators to take a stand against
budget cuts.
"This is unacceptable," Carter
said. "We're not going to take it
anymore."
Though M-TAC, the host
of the event, is non-partisan,
event moderator Quinn Strassel
announced the group's support
for Mark Schauer, the Demo-
cratic opponent to Rick Snyder
in the upcoming gubernatorial
election.
Irwin, the state representa-
tive, castigated Republican legis-
lators in the state for the decline
of its public schools. Many Dem-
ocrats, including Mark Schauer,
the Democratic candidate for
governor, have criticized Snyder
for presiding over massive cuts
in education funding.
Though Snyder increased
funding for education in the fis-
cal year 2015 budget plan and
has increased state funding for
K-12 schools over the course of
his tenure, classrooms have been
receivingless money, largely due
to lapses in federal stimulus
money.
According to an analysis by
The Detroit Free Press, state
funding for K-12 education in
2011 - the final budget submit-
ted by former Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm - was $10.7 billion. In
fiscal year 2014, Snyder called
for an $11.4 billion state alloca-
tion to K-12 education.
However, many Democrats
have criticized the Snyder
administration for failing to
compensate for the loss of fed-
eral stimulus money.
Irwin criticized the state's
move to privatize public school-

ing, saying charter schools are
proven to perform worse than
public schools. Many Republi-
cans have advocated expand-
ing charter school options as a
method for improving education
in the state.
Irwin called on voters to
"take back the house" by elect-
ing Democratic representatives
to the legislature.
Brown, too, faulted Republi-
cans for decreasing education
funding and channeling funds to
allow corporate tax breaks.
She outlined some of the
points in Schauer's education
plan, which includes standard-
izing class sizes and eliminating
budget cuts.
She also encouraged protest-
ers to take to the streets and
social media to encourage more
people to vote in the upcoming
election.
"This is about giving every
child in Michigan a world-class
education and bringing a bright-
er future for all of our kids," she
said.
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New financial
resources, mentoring
rolled out for 2014
ByMICHAEL SUGERMAN
Daily StaffReporter
The Ross School of Business
and the College of Engineering
unveiled their newest entre-
preneurship venture, the Desai
Family Accelerator, on Aug. 19.
The program aims to do more
than incubate student start-
ups, like many current Univer-
sity programs do. Instead, it will
seek to advance projects during
their early stages. The financial
resources and mentorship pro-
vided by the program are avail-
able to students, faculty and
external companies.

The Business School's Samuel
Zell & Robert Lurie Institute for
Entrepreneurial Studies and the
College of Engineering's Center
of Entrepreneurship will man-
age the program together.
"This Accelerator is a great
example of two world class pro-
grams coming together," said
CFE Executive Director Tom
Frank ina statement. "Most suc-
cessful startups have multidisci-
plinary backgrounds."
The program will provide
financial resources, mentoring
by faculty and University alumni
and office space at Pillar Tech-
nology, a consulting firm located
in downtown Ann Arbor with a
focus on developing companies.
The investments in the program
will provide funding for entre-
preneurial ventures.
The Accelerator is sponsored

by the Desai Sethi Family Foun-
dation-founded by Business
alum Bharat Desai '81-and the
William Davidson Foundation.
Desai is also the co-founder of
IT company Syntel.
The latter institution, found-
ed by Business alum William
Davidson '47, is based at the
University and emphasizes eco-
nomic education and consulting
services.
Desai said in a statement the
Accelerator is a direct reflection
of the DS Family Foundation,
bringing together education and
entrepreneurship in "perfect
harmony."
"(T)his initiative will provide
a boost to the local entrepre-
neurial ecosystem and encour-
age the establishment of new
and innovative ventures in
Michigan," he said.

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Israel calls on neighbors to help
rebuild Gaza and disarm Hamas

Fragile truce holds
after two months of
intense conflict
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel
and several Arab countries
should work together to rebuild
the Gaza Strip while disarming
Hamas militants who rule the
territory, Israel's finance minis-
ter said Sunday.
The remarks by Yair Lapid
come almost a week after Israel
and Hamas militants reached a
truce after almost two months
of fighting that devastated parts
of Gaza.
"We need a regional confer-
ence, with the Egyptians, the
Saudis, the Gulf States," Lapid, a
memberofthe centristYeshAtid
party, told reporters in Jerusa-
lem. "That conference should

focus on one thing, ensuring the
rehabilitation takes place along-
side demilitarization," he said.
It is unclear how he foresaw
the group demilitarizing Gaza
as Hamas has vowed it will
never give up its weapons. Nor
was it clear how responsive
Arab countries, some of whom
like Saudi Arabia have no for-
mal ties with Israel, would be
to such a conference. Lapid did
not say if any countries had been
consulted about the idea.
"This is a stupid demand, and
no one among the Palestinian
people would agree to such a
thing ... our weapons are used
to defend our people, and this
right was granted by heaven
and human laws," said Mushir
al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman
in Gaza.
Hamas and other Gaza mili-
tants fired 4,591 rockets and

mortars at Israel during the
fighting. Israel's military says it
struck 5,226 "targets" in Gaza.
The two sides are set to hold
indirect talks in Egypt next
month on key disputes that
remain unresolved.
Meanwhile Sunday, Israel
announced the expropriation of
about 1,000 acres of West Bank
land in a step that could help
clear the way for construction of
a new Jewish settlement.
The Israeli military made the
announcement Sunday in accor-
dance with a government edict.
It said the directive was made at
the end of a military operation
in June that searched for three
Israeli teens who were abducted
and killed by Hamas militants.
The Hamas kidnapping and
murder of the teens sparked a
chain of events that led to the
50-day war.

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