LANSING —The House passed Senate Bill 574 today, which will allow charter schools to siphon off regional school millage dollars approved by voters. In response, state Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) issued the following statement:

“I voted against Senate Bill 574 because it decreases the funding that our public school students will receive from any future enhancement millage. We know and have the studies to prove that seven years of Republican control has underfunded our public schools. This bill takes voter-approved tax dollars designated for public schools and shares them with for-profit charter schools. That’s just wrong. Taxpayers can easily see what their neighborhood public school is spending their tax dollars on, but that is not always the case with these for-profit charter schools. There is no increased accountability or transparency in this bill to keep these tax dollars from going to pay for perks for the CEO of the educational management organization that runs these for-profit schools, and that is why I voted no.”