Michigan Leaders Prioritize Key Investments for Michigan Students
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (June 3, 2015) – Earlier today, the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate adopted a fiscal year 2016 budget. Budgets reflect state leaders’ priorities, and the message from Michigan leaders today is loud and clear; we must do better to improve our public education system for Michigan students.
The following statement may be attributed to Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest:
“For decades, Michigan has fallen behind in student achievement and our students are paying the price. As shown in our recent report, Michigan Achieves: Becoming a Top Ten Education State, we are on the fast track to becoming a bottom state for education nationwide. With the right policies and investments, however, we can reverse course and make Michigan a top ten education state for all of our students.
“Today, Michigan lawmakers took an important stand for Michigan by passing a budget that invests in proven strategies for improving student performance. We thank Governor Snyder and legislative leaders, especially Representative Tim Kelly and Senator Geoff Hansen, chairs of the House and Senate School Aid Appropriations Subcommittees, for their leadership throughout this process. Now, the hard work of putting every dollar to good use for our students begins.
“Early literacy is the best place to start, and Michigan’s investment of $26.4 million in strategies to improve third-grade reading levels makes good sense. This funding – a first step toward our state’s education recovery – will help Michigan educators identify struggling readers earlier and provide the support and training that our teachers require to better meet the needs of our youngest students.
“Teaching quality is the most important in-school factor for improving student growth. For far too long, Michigan educators have had little quality feedback on areas for improvement. With $14.8 million in this budget for a research-based, statewide system of educator evaluation and support, Michigan can ensure that teachers and school leaders have far better information and support to inform their instruction and foster student learning. That investment must be managed and used prudently and strategically in the coming months to make this vision happen.
“This budget represents an important step toward improving education in Michigan. We look forward to working with policymakers to ensure that every dollar is put to good use for Michigan students.”
# # #
The Education Trust-Midwest is a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization dedicated to improving outcomes for all Michigan students, especially for African American, Latino, American Indian, and low-income students. The Education Trust-Midwest believes in the power of intelligent education policy and practices — informed by data, research, and the successes of other states — to make Michigan a top ten education state for all students.