As Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives voted out their proposed state government budgets for FY 2019–2020 today, educators made it clear that their proposed K-12 budget remains significantly flawed and risks the long-term stability of the state’s public education system. The focus, educators said, must now be on finding the positives in each of the three budget proposals on the table and work toward finding a real solution that invests in Michigan’s students and offers them the opportunities they need to succeed.
“The House K-12 budget is an irresponsible mess that we can in no way support, but the reality is there are some good ideas in it that can be the foundations of a bipartisan solution that we can all proudly stand behind,” said Mark Greathead, TCA President and Superintendent of Woodhaven-Browntown Schools. “Educators for years have called for removing higher education funding from the School Aid Fund and it’s encouraging to see that two of the three budget proposals would do exactly that. If that can be a starting point of a future agreement by all parties, then we at least have some common ground to work from.”
TCA has stated throughout the budget process that any FY19–20 budget must not only remove higher education from the state’s School Aid Fund, but invest new revenues into K-12 schools and do so through a weighted funding formula that better invests in the unique needs of every student. As of yet, only Governor Whitmer’s budget proposal includes that weighted funding formula, earning it TCA’s support.
“There’s no question that Governor Whitmer’s proposal is far and away the best proposal on the table, but it’s a good sign that, unlike in years past, there are things to point to as positives in each of the three budgets that have been proposed,” added Kenneth Gutman, Superintendent of Walled Lake Schools. “We’re optimistic that all sides are now ready to get to work on a solution that meets the needs of our schools and our kids and truly invests in Michigan’s future once again.”