Lawmakers, lobby groups react to Whitmer’s veto of school voucher proposal

Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaking at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a proposal on Friday that Democrats said aimed to get around a constitutional ban on using public money for private education.

The Michigan Democratic Party described the voucher system as “designed to circumvent a constitutional ban on using state resources to fund private education.”

Democrats also said the legislature would let private donors funnel money to “qualified students,” and could reduce state revenue by $500 million annually.

“It should come as no surprise that Republican gubernatorial candidates are itching to court extreme special interests as they compete to see who can dismantle public education the quickest. All of them are backing programs that pull millions from Michigan students. Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer has remained focused on keeping Michigan families first by maintaining the strength of our education system – ensuring that it stays public, funded, and equitable,” said Michigan Democratic Party Rodericka Applewhaite.

The Great Lakes Education Project, a charter school advocacy program started by former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos disagreed with Whitmer’s veto.

“Gretchen Whitmer didn’t just veto legislation – she took away tutors, mental health treatment, after school programs, textbooks, broadband Internet access and reading supports from Michigan kids.” Great Lakes Education Project Executive Director Beth DeShone said.

“Every student from every background, in every community deserves the tools and the resources they need for a successful education. Parents asked Whitmer to help their children. The Governor ignored parents and slashed education funding for more than one million Michigan students.”  

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