LANSING — Last week, a Michigan Court of Claims judge ruled that the $5 million allotted for private schools in the fiscal year 2016-17 and 2017-18 budgets are unconstitutional in Michigan, as the state constitution does not allow taxpayer dollars to go to non-public schools. In response, House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) issued the following statement:

“I strongly urge Gov. Rick Snyder to accept Judge Cynthia Stephens’ ruling and to opt against appealing it. Our state Constitution clearly and wisely states that taxpayer dollars belong to students in our public classrooms. Appealing this ruling is simply a waste of time and our tax dollars, taking even more money away from roads and schools to squander it on fruitless lawsuits. As we’ve seen before with other legal losses for the Snyder-Schuette administration — which went to court over the Flint water crisis, the unconstitutional withholding of teacher pay and the unjust fight against marriage equality — that hurts us all in the long run. Rather than wasting the $5 million that had been earmarked for private schools on a court battle, it should be placed where it belongs — in public school classrooms, where our kids are learning the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.”