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Breakfast with Congressman Amash

Breakfast with Congressman Amash

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a breakfast with Congressman Justin Amash, who represents Michigan’s 3rd District.  The breakfast is scheduled on Monday, December 12 from 7:30am – 9:30am at the Hilton Hotel at 4747 28th Street SE.  The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.  To register go to  www.grandrapids.org/congressional-breakfast  or call 616-771-0303.   


The 3rd Congressional District covers Barry and Ionia counties and most of Kent County.  Amash serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  He is a Republican from Cascade Township.

Sparta Area Schools Transportation Services


The Sparta Area Schools Educational Support Personnel Association (SESPA), which includes Sparta the bus drivers, has responded to the Request For Proposal (RFP), which was issued by the administration of the Sparta Area Schools in April, asking for proposals on providing the district with certified school bus drivers for the 2011-2012 school year.  There have been three proposals submitted to date:  Cedar Springs Public Schools, Michigan Educational Transportation Services and the Bus Drivers’ Union.

“The bus drivers have made deep cut concessions to help the district in its endeavor to cut millions of dollars from their budget for next school year, after the Governor announced per pupil funding reductions,” said Georgia Parmeter, President of the Sparta Bus Driver’s Union.   Included in these concessions that have been offered to the Sparta School Board and Administration, are:

Sparta Superintendent's Comments

From: http://www.spartaschools.org

Last year at this time my comments focused on the many challenges facing public education in light of economic pressures and the worldwide recession. Honestly, I do not believe anyone anticipated that the election of a new Governor and many new legislators would bring about the type of change being asked of schools now. Finances, regardless of resistance, are going to drive how Michigan's children are going to be educated. Our mission to provide the best educational opportunities possible for the students of Sparta is going to be tested in many ways. Not all people are going to agree with necessary changes, however the commitment we must keep is basing all decisions on what is best for students.

Educational Reform

By: Kent Swinson, Superintendent

For the past nine to ten years the central theme every spring in districts throughout Michigan has been "the need to make reductions". Sparta certainly has not been spared from this task as funding has continually decreased and expenses have increased. Throughout this period a major crisis has been averted by bailouts from either State or Federal  sources. This has continued to push the problem down the road rather than truly deal with the causes. Based on communication from our new Governor this may no longer be the case, especially since there does not appear to be any more bailouts on the way.

So what is the connection between educational reform and school  funding? Obviously funding is necessary to provide quality educational services. However, when those resources are limited you cannot continue to do business as usual.