Governor Gretchen Whitmer knows that Michigan’s current way of funding schools is broken. She has plans to increase school funding by a half a billion dollars, increasing per-student annual funding and increase funding for special needs and at-risk students. Economically disadvantaged and academically at-risk students would see increases, as well as student opportunities for additional career and technical services. Large and small districts alike, such as Detroit and Indian River, have seen a loss of students to Charter and other schools, which leaves them with a disproportionate number of special needs students and no adequate way to fund them.
Why is fixing how we fund our schools so important? Current research shows that the decrease in student achievement is related to state funding. Michigan ranked 50th in growth in one of the major indicators of student performance, and ranks among the bottom 5 states when it comes to funding its low-income and special needs students. Our governor states that we cannot have a strong economy if we don’t invest in education. The complex and difficult needs of our individual school districts puts a strain on our local communities. By not properly funding special education, we are denying these students the potential to live productive and happy lives.
What is happening? Both the House and Senate presented their budgets including increased funding for education, but they have not adequately addressed the disproportionate funding for our special needs students. They are also looking to grab school funds from other sources, such as decreasing State University funding.
What can we do? We can call the Republican State House Representatives and Senators who should be concerned about Michigan’s low standing in education among other states, especially concerning special education.
Please call the following State Senators:
Jim Stamas, Senate Appropriations Chair, 517-373-7946
Kim LaSata, 21th District: 517-373-6960
Ruth Johnson, 14th District: 517-373-1636
Lana Theis, 22nd District: 517-373-2420
Pete Lucido, 8th District: 517-373-7670
Michael McDonald 10th District: 517-373-7315
Ed Broom, 38th District: 517-373-7840
Shane Hernandez, House Appropriations Chair, 517-313-0835
JoeBellino, 17th District: 517-373-1530
Julie Calley, 87th District: 517-373-0842
Diana Farrington, 30th District: 517-373-7768
Roger Hauck, 99th District: 517-373-1789
Gary Howell, 82nd District: 517-373-1800
Steve Marino, 24th District: 517-373-0113
Aaron Miller, 59th District: 517-373-0832
Brad Paquette, 78th District: 517-373-1796
Scott VanSingel, 100th District: 517-373-7317
Hank Vaupel, 47th District: 517-373-8835
Mike Webber, 45th District: 517-373-1773
Jeff Yaroch, 33rd District: 517-373- 0820
Call to State Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee and Chairs of both Appropriations Committees:
Hello, I’m a Michigan voter and I want to encourage Representative/Senator _________to support our Governor’s school funding proposal. The cost to taxpayers will not be as great as the continued deficit in learning among Michigan’s school children. Adequate funding for education is imperative to making Michigan a state where families want to come to live, work, and educate their children. Increased funding for special needs, at-risk students, and career technical education is badly needed in our state, especially since these students have been traditionally underfunded.
Information provided by Susan Gannon of Michigan Resistance. For more information, contact: