LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A new petition could pave the way for public funding of private schools, even if most people oppose the proposal.

Michigan voters have previously rejected the idea of public funding for private schools, but organizers of a petition drive hope they’ve found a way to make it happen.

A crowd of people was on the steps of the Bureau of Elections building Wednesday, bringing in over half a million signatures for what polls show is an unpopular proposal

Backers of the Let MI Kids learn initiative submitted more than 520,000 signatures to the Bureau of Elections.

Their proposal will allow people to donate to a private scholarship fund and receive tax credits.

“They are still paying taxes, but the money goes toward the scholarship fund that then creates this pool that people can pull from,” said Amy Hawkins, Communications Coordinator with Let MI Kids Learn.

Critics of the proposal say it would undermine public school funding, and worsen the existing problems that public schools face.

“So they can divert what they would have spent in taxes into another fund, and then that fund is used to fund the private school tuition or benefits if you will. So that means that the state is going to lose access to those tax dollars,” said Casandra Ulrich, president of the State Board of Education.

A Republican-controlled legislature is likely to pass the proposal into law without a statewide vote, and it’s not subject to a governor’s veto.

Pollsters say that is not what Michiganders want.

“Don’t believe given these polling numbers that they wanted to appear on the ballot, because it is likely to go down,” said pollster Bernie Porn.

But if the bill is passed despite the want for a public vote, it could face challenges against its constitutionality

“Our constitution is very clear, it says in very plain language that public dollars are not to be used for private schools in the state of Michigan,” said Ulrich.

However, petitioners are confident that their initiative will make it through, and eventually become law.

“It’s not a public vote. To us really truly which I think is a fair assessment is that all 520,000 and then some that is, in essence, a vote for the citizens,” said Hawkins.