Governor’s Budget Represents a Path Forward for Schools

Michigan’s public schools are at a crossroads. Down one path is the status-quo of continued disinvestment from within our state capitol that has led to us having dedicated educators and eager students inside schools that lack the basic resources that both require to ensure they can succeed.

Thankfully, Michigan now has an alternative path in front of us that we can choose to follow instead that would, at long last, reinvest in our schools, our students and our communities. This new plan, put together as part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget recommendations, is a significant opportunity to put our students’ futures at the forefront of our state’s priorities once again and I am proud to support it.

Governor Whitmer’s plan would revitalize every school district in Michigan. Here in Woodhaven-Brownstown schools, the impact would be historic. Not only would our district see an additional $346 per-pupil investment in our schools, but that funding would be allocated based on the unique needs of our students. Special education programs would be more fully funded, at-risk students would see better support toward their success and career & technical education programs would be expanded.

Under the Governor’s plan, our schools would no longer have to tailor our programs to the one-size-fits-all approach of education the state currently uses and would instead be able to design our programs around our students and their learning needs. It would begin the process of shifting the focus of education in Michigan away from state mandates and toward student achievement once again.

Like many other educators, I’ve watched in frustration as our state has devalued our student’s futures, raiding hundreds of millions of dollars out of our School Aid Fund annually to pay for other state programs. These thefts of funds that were intended for our classrooms have led to programs being cut, class sizes getting larger and students falling behind. Worst of all is that none of these funding raids were necessary, but instead were choices made by those who took the politically easy path instead of making the difficult decisions that Governor Whitmer is now making to put our student’s success at the forefront of her agenda.

As a Superintendent, I can’t emphasize enough the positive impact Governor Whitmer’s school funding plan would have not just for our students here in Woodhaven-Brownstown, but for every student in Michigan. I encourage my fellow educators, parents and everyone who believes in the value of public education to speak up and encourage their state legislators to support it as well.

Mark Greathead
TCA Vice President
Superintendent, Woodhaven-Brownstown School District