LANSING — Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on the Fiscal Year 2018-19 School and General Omnibus budgets. State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) voted against both budgets, and in response issued the following statement:
“This school aid budget once again demonstrates that Republicans are all rhetoric and no results. To marginally increase funding every year after drastic reductions, since they’ve come into power, and then try to convince us we should be grateful for it, does nothing for the progress of our students. As a former Detroit Public Schools teacher, education is my number one priority. I’m appalled with the sneaky partisan politics by Republicans, who made last minute provisions for charter schools that could negatively impact traditional public schools and ultimately result in the loss of teachers or schools. Playing politics with the success of our children is wrong, especially when only 35 percent of our state’s SAT takers test as prepared for college, and we’re grossly underfunding our schools. This budget once again provides for-profit charter and cyber schools with full funding, handing out millions of tax dollars to wealthy school management CEOs who control their budgets with no oversight or accountability.
“I remain committed to addressing the real issues students are facing: safety, accountability, and higher education opportunities for all. Yesterday I sponsored a House Joint Resolution, as well as co-sponsoring other bills, to increase Michigan’s pipeline to higher education with provisions for a debt-free two year degree, a pathway to skilled trades certification, and opportunities for lifelong learners preparing for a career change. In addition, my legislation serves to ensure that high school students attending university-chartered schools are guaranteed the opportunity to attend that university upon graduation. Moreover, my bill, HB 6261, will help to keep our students safe by requiring schools to attain and provide detailed information on their School Resource Officers (SRO’s) to the Department of Education. These SRO’s are students’ first line of defense in the event of an emergency, and we must ensure that these individuals are qualified to take on such a major responsibility. These are the kinds of issues that truly matter to students and parents across our state, and it is a shame that this year’s budget does not reflect those priorities.”