Yesterday, it was reported that for the 2023 Michigan budget, Governor Whitmer would be proposing a multibillion dollar package for public education that includes a significant increase in the per-public grant each individual school districts receive along with pay raises for educators and school personnel.
These investments extend the gains of the current year’s bipartisan $17.1 billion dollar public education budget that completely closed a decades-long state funding gap between school districts, making it the “largest investment in PreK-12 schools in state history” — all without raising taxes.
Unfortunately, Michigan parents, teachers, and students wouldn’t see their needs put first if any of the Republicans currently running for governor had the opportunity to enact their horrific anti-public education agendas.
James Craig advocated for cutting funding for underperforming public schools, saying that the public education death spiral that would come from altering Michigan’s constitution to funnel taxpayer resources to private schools would somehow spur school districts to improve, arguing that when “you incentivize progress, magical things begin to happen.” He described his support for transforming Michigan’s public education system to one that would increase educational inequality as “absolute.”
Kevin Rinke was critical of Governor Whitmer’s recent veto of “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan” that could have reduced state investment in education by upwards of $500 million annually, implying that he would have signed it into law instead. Additionally, he advocated for transforming Michigan’s public education into a voucher system, lacking detail on how such an initiative would operate and be funded.
Like Rinke, Tudor Dixon also showed her support for stripping critical funding from public schools and announced that repealing Michigan’s constitutional ban on using public money for private education was a top priority for her campaign.
Lastly, Ryan Kelley has pledged to “happily and enthusiastically as governor, sign an executive order that eliminates the Department of Education” – another unconstitutional proposal.
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“While the Republican gubernatorial candidates continue to push agendas that will hurt Michigan families, Governor Whitmer keeps stepping up to put Michigan parents, teachers, and students first with critical investments that will keep our public schools open and funded. Our working families can plainly see that James Craig, Tudor Dixon, Kevin Rinke, and the rest of the primary field just want to defund to fulfill the extreme agenda of denying equal access to public education.”