A good first step – but only a step
EAST LANSING —The following can be attributed to MEA President Paula Herbart regarding today’s passage of the K-12 education budget by the Michigan Legislature:
“While this budget isn’t everything we had hoped for, it is a good first step to ending the decades long underfunding of public education.
“But it is only a step. It addresses only a fraction of the $2,000 gap in per-pupil funding schools face. It doesn’t eliminate the effects of 25 years of last-in-the-nation education funding increases. For us to truly invest in the success of every student, lawmakers need to make a long term commitment to addressing these issues.
“First, we must provide equitable funding that accounts for the differing needs of students and the differing resources needed to meet those needs. We owe it to these students – at-risk, special education, English language learners, career/technical, to name a few – to recognize that ‘equal’ and ‘equitable’ are not the same.
“If we focus only on how much we spend, and not on how we spend it, we risk leaving countless students behind because their needs are more costly.
“But we also must recognize that there is not enough revenue for our state government to fully fund our state’s priorities, including education and infrastructure. Whatever revenue options you prefer, they won’t be passed into law to fund our schools and fix our roads unless we create the political will with our leaders in Lansing to make it happen.
“I’m proud of Michigan’s educators for raising their voices to demand change in how we fund our schools – and we will continue to help others raise their voices in favor of fully solving how Michigan shortchanges its students
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5508