Economists, entrepreneurs and Michigan’s business community agree that we must invest in education in order to develop our economy. My colleagues and I introduced the Michigan 2020 Plan to do just that. It’s a plan that would provide every high school graduate in our state with the opportunity to have their college tuition paid for in its entirety and could be implemented without raising taxes one cent. It’s a program that was modeled after the success of the Kalamazoo Promise which has brought unequalled success to the city, its schools and its students.
Yet, while so many of us advocate for the need to reinvest in our schools throughout the state and provide each and every student with a world class education, Governor Snyder, the so-called tough “nerd”, has taken the opposite approach. He has pushed through budgets over the past two years that have raided nearly $2 billion from our schools and used it instead to provide tax handouts to big corporations without the promise of a single job being created. He has blamed teachers for poor performing schools while gutting the funding needed to keep our schools competitive and made it more and more difficult for students to achieve the success necessary to compete in a rapidly changing global job market.
Yesterday, Governor Snyder released the latest and most offensive step in his anti-education agenda in the form of a proposed overhaul of Michigan’s school aid funding. The deeply flawed plan would end public education as we know it in Michigan by enacting nearly the same voucher system that Michigan voters overwhelmingly rejected in 2000. It would create fiscal uncertainty for every single school in the state and only succeed in lining the pockets of the CEOs running for-profit corporate schools.
It isn’t a plan that looks forward, it’s one that only looks back on previous attempts by out-of-state interests to profit off of Michigan’s students. It’s a plan that says the education of our children is better left to the corporate accountants at "Schools, Inc." than it is with the teachers in our classrooms. It’s nothing short of a disaster waiting to happen and one that I find simply offensive as both a legislator and as a mother of two young girls.
We can stop this plan, but only if we speak out together. The Governor’s proposal is already receiving a tremendous amount of criticism from educators, parents and students from across the state and we need to ensure that message continues to be heard loud and clear.
Please take a few moments to contact Governor Snyder’s office to tell him you oppose this proposal and want him to support our local schools instead. His office can be reached at the following:
Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Phone: (517) 373-3400
Email: Click Here
Our students deserve far better than this plan from their state's leadership and I hope you'll join me in rejecting it.
Leader Gretchen Whitmer