Statement by The Education Trust-Midwest on Gov. Whitmer’s 2023 State of the State Address
This statement can be attributed to Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest.
“We applaud Gov. Whitmer’s focus on investing in the expansion of tutoring opportunities for students who have experienced unfinished learning during the pandemic. Research is clear that targeted intensive tutoring is among the most effective ways for students to accelerate their learning. We look forward to seeing details of the administration’s proposal and urge policymakers to ensure the state provides leadership to ensure best practices, strong statewide implementation, and effective use of state dollars.
“For full educational recovery, Michigan also needs to advance a comprehensive educational improvement agenda as our organization’s recently released Opportunity Ten agenda outlines. The state needs to invest with urgency and transform its public education system in ways that will truly make a difference for all children. This transformation should include creating a fair school funding system coupled with greater transparency and accountability for spending and student outcomes; access to rigorous coursework for all students; and deeper work on educator recruitment, retention and support.
“Michigan long has had one of the most regressive school funding systems in the nation with some of the worst resource gaps between wealthy and low-income districts. Michigan should follow the country’s top performing education states such as Massachusetts’ notable efforts to invest at levels that close opportunity gaps for students who have additional needs. These children include students living in concentrated poverty, rural children, English Learners and students with disabilities. Strong new fiscal transparency and accountability systems should be coupled with any new investments — and guarantee that dollars intended to support particular students actually reach those students.
“We’re at a critical moment. As we highlighted in our recent 2023 State of Michigan Education Report, Beyond the Pandemic, Michigan student performance is falling behind other states, building upon longstanding opportunity gaps. That’s why the Whitmer administration’s interest in investing more deeply in educational recovery and in early childhood not only makes good sense but makes particularly good sense for this moment in history.
“We applaud the Governor’s leadership in this area, and we look forward to working with her and legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle in partnership to ensure all students have the opportunity to catch up and accelerate their learning.”