Press Release

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (Feb. 12, 2019) – In her first State of the State address, Governor Gretchen Whitmer spoke on the great need to improve educational opportunity in Michigan. With an emphasis on bipartisanship, the Governor focused on the importance of educators and improved school funding.

The following statement may be attributed to Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest:

“Tonight, Governor Whitmer called for all Michiganders to join together to tackle our most pressing challenges. From early childhood through post-secondary, public education in Michigan is in great need of serious improvement. Over nearly two decades, the quality of Michigan’s public education system has slipped from average to near national bottom, and is now among the lowest performing for African American and Latino students, and students from low-income families in key subject areas. Michigan did not get here overnight, and a true educational recovery will take time, as well.

“Governor Whitmer rightly focused on critical levers for improving educational quality in Michigan. Educators make a difference in the lives of Michigan students each and every day. Respecting this critical work, supporting continuous improvement, and providing the tools and resources to equip educators to succeed will all help move Michigan toward the goal of becoming a top ten education state.

“Ensuring that Michigan schools have the funding to meet their students’ needs – particularly the needs of vulnerable students – is also essential. While state government has many important priorities to balance, providing a high-quality education to all Michigan students should surely top the list. Equitably funding our schools and insisting on investments through evidence-based, systemic approaches to raise teaching and learning, is where Michigan should begin.

“We look forward to partnering with the Governor, legislators on both sides of the aisle, civic leaders and educators to make quality education a reality for every Michigan student.”

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The Education Trust-Midwest is a non-partisan policy, 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.