“Once again, I found myself dismayed by the actions of our Legislative leadership as the education budget passed the House. Forward-looking policy change and job creation are not accomplished through deep cuts to public education and eliminating taxes for businesses. Michigan’s economy is emerging from a crisis, and it is critical that we invest all possible resources into education, from early childhood through higher education. I have a serious problem with this budget as passed by the House. It would force schools to compete for the full amount of per-pupil funding by satisfying a set of requirements. The so-called “best practices” include measuring student growth at least twice per year, but the legislation does not specify how this measurement is taken, or with what standards. Even worse, this budget makes unnecessary cuts to public K-12, universities and community colleges. I agree completely that Michigan must work to grow jobs and be business-friendly for our long-term future. But without adequate support, Michigan will not be able to afford a quality education system to produce the highly trained workers needed in a 21st-century economy. This budget ignores what is best for Michigan residents in the short-term and the long-term.”