LANSING — Today, Governor Whitmer vetoed “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan.” Designed to circumvent a constitutional ban on using state resources to fund private education, a bill rapidly making its way through the state legislature would allow private donors to funnel money through organizations funding the educations of “qualified students” – a move that could reduce state revenue by upwards of $500 million annually.
The veto comes as a direct contrast to the policy priorities of gubernatorial candidates Tudor Dixon, James Craig, and Ryan Kelley. All have pledged to do the bidding of all-time most disastrous former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in decimating public education by any means necessary.
Dixon recently voiced her support for this latest attempt to privatize education, vowing to sign it as governor. She also announced that repealing Michigan’s ban on using public money for private education was her campaign’s top priority. That would then allow her to implement her Education Savings Account plan that would direct state revenue to “private, charter, virtual or homeschooling options.”
James Craig declined to get into specifics but gave a blanket endorsement during a September appearance on Fox News, saying his support for school vouchers is “absolute.” And Ryan Kelley recently said that he would “happily and enthusiastically” dissolve Michigan’s Department of Education. Last weekend, Club for Growth, a national dark money group, made a five-figure TV buy against Governor Whitmer for refusing to roll over on this disastrous agenda.
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“It should come as no surprise that Republican gubernatorial candidates are itching to court extreme special interests as they compete to see who can dismantle public education the quickest. All of them are backing programs that pull millions from Michigan students. Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer has remained focused on keeping Michigan families first by maintaining the strength of our education system – ensuring that it stays public, funded, and equitable.”