Like the rest of the Republican gubernatorial field, out-of-touch millionaire and Toyota salesman Kevin Rinke has offered little detail on his vision for public education in Michigan if elected. However, what he’s previewed so far should be alarming to families and students that want to preserve equal access to a good education.
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 despite calling it a “top priority.”
Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer is protecting public education in Michigan and exhibiting the strong leadership that it takes to keep our students first. This year, she secured a 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. Separately, Whitmer also vetoed a $155 million voucher program in July of this year.
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“Millionaire Kevin Rinke has been consistently out-of-touch with the priorities of Michigan working families, public education being no exception. That’s why he wants to cut hundreds of millions in funding from school districts first to transform Michigan’s public education into a voucher program, and deal with the detrimental consequences for students across Michigan later. Our students and educators deserve better and can count on Governor Whitmer to keep putting them first.”