“Today I voted in support of the Michigan Department of Education budget in conference committee. I voted in favor of this budget and am proud that two key changes I fought for were incorporated into the conference committee budget. The MDE budget passed today provides much-needed funding for teacher evaluations and adds 39 full-time child care inspector positions to help ensure Michigan’s child care centers are safe and provide high-quality care. Furthermore, the budget includes an increase in funding for licensed child care providers.

“Throughout the budgeting process, I have attempted to secure an increase in the Child Development and Care (CDC) program entrance threshold, which would have used federal dollars to allow more low-income families to access high-quality child care. However, the budget passed without this change. I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues across the aisle to secure this change in next year’s budget.

“While I would like more families to be able to take advantage of the CDC program, I applaud the conference committee for supporting several positive changes to the CDC program, increased funding for public libraries and support for schools implementing teacher evaluations. In these ways, the current MDE budget supports our working families, public libraries, teachers, parents and students.”