Statement from state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) on Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

LANSING — Tonight, the House and Senate convened for a joint legislative session to hear Gov. Rick Snyder give his eighth and final State of the State address. In response, state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) issued the following statement:

“After seven years of putting profits before people, one of our state’s most vulnerable populations — our children — continue to struggle in schools that are grossly underfunded, separate and unequal, with overcrowded classrooms and teachers that are overworked and underpaid.

            “Shortchanging public education has widespread, devastating effects on our state’s economy and workforce development, which we have seen materialize recently with the release of a new study showing we underfund our schools by nearly $2,000 per pupil. This disinvestment in our schools and leaders of tomorrow is now impacting our workforce, with companies like Amazon choosing to expand elsewhere due to our state’s dearth of talent.

            “In order for Michigan citizens, not big corporations, to feel the improvement of our state’s economy and for our state to truly move forward, our children must progress academically, and that only happens when we stop the hemorrhaging effects of the DeVos-driven education policies that are crippling Michigan schools.

            “As a former Detroit Public Schools science teacher, I am appreciative of greater investments in early education, STEM and skilled trades, as these are viable options that will help close our state’s talent gap. Now we must work to ensure that every citizen has access to these opportunities on a level playing field!”