NEWS RELEASE: TCA Endorses Governor Whitmer’s Gas Tax Plan

LANSING — Following a unanimous vote by its Board of Directors on Friday, the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education (TCA) has endorsed Governor Whitmer’s proposed 45 cent gas tax increase as part of her plan to invest over $500 million back into Michigan’s public schools in her 2019–2020 budget proposal. TCA had previously endorsed the Governor’s overall budget plan, but its vote last week is intended to make it clear that educators are not willing to support a status quo budget that doesn’t invest new revenues back into our public schools.

“There’s no question that educators across Michigan are supportive of Governor Whitmer’s proposed investment in our schools, but the reality is that it can’t happen without new revenues and our schools cannot afford to have educators sit on the sidelines in that debate,” said TCA President & Superintendent of Farmington Schools, Dr. George Heitsch. “Nobody likes the idea of increased taxes, but years of neglect from Lansing has left our schools in crisis and the cost of inaction at this point is simply far too great.”

TCA Vice-President & Superintendent of Woodhaven-Brownstown Schools, Mark Greathead, said that he’d welcome an alternative plan from the legislature, but it must meet the same goals and principles of Governor Whitmer’s proposal. Specifically, any budget TCA would support must include new revenues that don’t pull from other programs our communities rely on and allocate that money through a research-based weighted funding formula.

“Governor Whitmer’s plan doesn’t just investment historic new money into our schools, it rewrites how the state allocates that money to better ensure the unique needs of every student are being met,” said Greathead. “The bottom line is that educators are not going to accept another year of too few dollars being spent through an outdated & broken funding formula. The Governor has put a bold plan on the table for our state and our schools and we are proud to stand in support of that.”