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      Education and coffee

      Education funding was the topic of a coffee chat in Ishpeming on Monday morning with Michigan Senate Democrats. People spoke with three lawmakers from Lower Michigan about their thoughts on education in Michigan.

      Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, Senator Rebekah Warren and Senator Jim Ananich gathered at Buck's Restaurant in Ishpeming. People shared concerns on issues, some that exist mostly in the Upper Peninsula.

      Ideas discussed included allowing spread out districts to use money from a sinking fund to help cover transportation costs. Other parts of the conversation focused on the lack of high speed internet for students in rural areas, large class sizes, and the future of the Common Core Curriculum.

      The group of lawmakers has been touring parts of the state all summer. They also stopped in Marquette and Escanaba over their three day trip, and now they will take the opinions of Upper Peninsula residents back to Lansing.

      "Our legislative session for the fall will gear up starting the 27th of this month, so we'll be back in Lansing. We'll be looking at issues of school funding, flexibility of funding with bonds, the sinking fund bonds. We'll be looking at the curriculum, we've got some bills that are percolating through the Senate on giving some flexibility to the merit curriculum."

      The same group also scheduled a meeting on education at 4:00 p.m. Monday at Falling Rock Cafà in Munising.