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Wrong Arch Lewis?

Mr. Arch Lewis

Direct Phone: (517) ***-**** ext. ****       

Email: a***@***.org

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Michigan Education Association

1216 Kendale Blvd.

East Lansing, Michigan 48826

United States

Company Description

6. MEA Financial Services offers over 200 mutual funds and over 75 insurance funds, which allow the member to tailor their investment program based on their investment style and risk tolerance. 7. MEA Financial Services is available to work with and ass ... more

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Background Information

Web References (31 Total References)

Staff Directories | [cached]

Arch Lewis

517/332-6551 517/337-5555 - F
Ext. 2933

HQ Directory | Michigan Education Association [cached]

Arch Lewis Administrator 517/332-6551 517/337-5555 - F Ext. 2933

MEA - About- HQ Directory [cached]

Arch Lewis Research Consultant 517/332-6551 517/336-4009 - F Ext. 5550

MEA - About - CCTFs - Staff Retirement Plan Board [cached]

Arch Lewis

Arch Lewis, a research ... [cached]

Arch Lewis, a research analyst for the Michigan Education Association, makes a presentation on the Madison?School District's budget situation at a meeting Thursday.

Arch Lewis, a research analyst for the MEA, told teachers the district is not facing major financial problems, and that any problems that exist are the fault of the school board and administration.
"Madison does not have a deficit of resources. Far from it," he said.
Lewis began his presentation by talking about the state's economy.
"Michigan, as you've probably figured out, has become the poster child for a weak economy," he said. "That overall drumbeat that we hear ... it colors our whole thought process about how we think about money, how we think about finances."
"We just assume automatically that everyone's doing poorly because that's all we hear," he said.
Lewis argued that Madison has nearly $12,000 per student available to spend, and that over the last five years, revenues have exceeded expenditures by between $2.9 million and $3.9 million.
He said teacher salaries have consistently represented only about 32 percent of available revenue, and that "if the district is experiencing financial difficulties ... it's not because teacher salaries are taking an ever-increasing portion of district revenues."
Teacher health insurance premiums are about 7 percent of available dollars, he said.
Lewis defended his figures by saying he looked at all the money that was available to be spent.
Lewis also criticized the district for spending general fund money on capital projects.
"What is critical is to show how tax dollars were used to deliver maximum educational impact," he said. When districts want to build facilities, he said, they should go to voters and ask for additional property tax levies.
"They need to choose between paint, in other words, capital projects out of the general fund, or kids," Lewis said.
He showed a chart of Madison's general fund transfers to areas such as capital projects and athletics, saying, "every one of those areas, the money spent can be financed in other ways than taking it out of the general fund.
Lewis also suggested that the Madison school district has failed to plan well. for example, he said, staffing levels have not gone up and down each year in proportion to increases and declines in enrollment.
An exchange between Hartley and teachers over a 2007 millage vote turned heated, and a joke made by Lewis at the beginning of his presentation was characterized by Hartley as "unprofessional, disrespectful and inflammatory."
When introducing himself to the audience, Lewis joked that if they liked what he had to say, his name was Arch Lewis, and if they disliked what he said, his name was Deb Griffith. 
Related news in the region: Lewis recently gave a similar presentation in the Ypsilanti school district. Find's report here.

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