In response to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget presentation this morning, educators from the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education are calling it a welcomed path forward that will better support the needs of students and classrooms across Michigan.
“Governor Whitmer clearly recognizes that the school aid budget isn’t just another line on a balance sheet, it’s an investment in our students and our future,” said Kenneth Gutman, Superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools. “The Governor’s budget is based firmly on research that shows Michigan needs to fundamentally change how we spend our K-12 dollars to ensure we’re meeting the unique needs and challenges inside every classroom. It represents a significant step forward for every student in Michigan.”
Much of Governor Whitmer’s budget follows the recommendations of the School Finance Research Collaborative, a non-partisan research group that released the most significant study of school finance ever undertaken in Michigan. Their report called for the state to end its one-size-fits-all approach of school funding and to instead adopt a weighted funding formula that recognizes the unique funding needs of every school.
The Governor’s move to invest additional resources into special education, at-risk students and english language learners represents a significant step toward an SFRC based budget that would adequately address those needs in our schools.
“Our schools are struggling after years of being an afterthought during these budget discussions in Lansing and it’s time that our kids and our classrooms become a priority once again,” said Russell Pickell, Superintendent of Riverview Schools. “We appreciate Governor Whitmer putting a plan on the table that moves us forward as the status-quo is simply not acceptable for our schools or our students anymore.”