LANSING – State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) said today that the list of priority schools released by the Michigan Department of Education illustrates how funding cuts by the Republican legislature have failed our schools and led to their inclusion on this list. Priority schools are those identified in the bottom 5 percent of the statewide top-to-bottom school rankings.

“When schools lose $3 billion over three years, it means that students are sitting in over-crowded classrooms without the books, supplies and technology they need to learn and it means that, sadly, many of them will end up on this priority schools list,” said Yanez. “This list shows just how badly the current Republican-led Legislature has failed our schools.”

When ranking schools, the department evaluates them by whether they meet targets in a number of areas including academics, attendance and graduation rates and improvements in those and other areas. Schools that make the priority schools list are placed under the authority of the state School Reform Office and are required to implement an intervention model to improve student achievement.

“If the Republicans in Lansing had fully funded our schools all along, instead of forcing schools to constantly try to do more with less support, five Warren Consolidated elementary schools would not have found themselves on this list this year,” said Yanez. “I will continue fighting, along with my Democratic colleagues, to fully fund our schools so that our kids receive the best education that will prepare them for college and the workforce.”