April 19, 2017
By STEVEN COOK/President – Michigan Education Association
The Michigan Constitution is very clear: “No public monies shall be appropriated by the Legislature to aid any private, denominational or other nonpublic school.”
Yet that strong prohibition did not stop the Michigan Legislature from appropriating $2.5 million for private schools in 2016 and inserting similar funding in the proposed budget for next year. Last month, the Council About Parochiaid filed suit against the state for violating the Michigan Constitution.
This unlawful attempt to divert public K-12 tax dollars to private and religious schools should concern all citizens. Public schools educate the vast majority of Michigan students, even as Republican lawmakers continue to funnel scarce resources to the private sector. And public districts across the state are still attempting to recover from the $1 billion funding cut early in Gov. Snyder’s tenure.