(February 9, 2023) The Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus today issued the following statement on Governor Whitmer’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023-24.
“The Education Trust-Midwest, Teach Plus Michigan, and members of the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative (MTLC) applaud Governor Whitmer’s commitment to making education a top priority in order to support students and educators to recover from the pandemic and accelerate learning.
“We are encouraged by Gov. Whitmer’s proposed education investments to ensure Michigan students have the resources they need to catch up and accelerate their learning, including through evidence-based practices like targeted intensive tutoring,” said Mary Grech, Chief of Staff at The Education Trust-Midwest. “We look forward to hearing additional details of these and other strategies and working with state leaders so that educators are supported and all Michigan students have the opportunity to achieve at high levels.”
“As the Michigan legislature begins its 102nd session, we urge lawmakers to work directly with educators to ensure policies are responsive to the challenges they are facing daily in their classrooms,” said Ben Locke, Teach Plus Michigan Executive Director. “Teachers know first-hand that students need supports that go beyond academic instruction, such as socio-emotional learning and guidance as they plan transitions to post-secondary opportunities. We hope that the Legislature will continue to listen to educators as decisions are made.”
As the legislature debates the Governor’s proposal, members of the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative are eager to work with legislators and other state leaders to ensure the design of these initiatives, as well as other policy proposals in and beyond the state budget, prioritize equity and take into account the lived experiences of students and educators.
The following quotes can be attributed to individual members of the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative members regarding education-related priorities in the governor’s budget proposal. They represent the individual teacher leader’s position.
Early Childhood Education
“I can see the difference that high-quality, accessible Pre has on the students I teach. Governor Whitmer’s proposal to expand the pilot Great Start Readiness Program services to 3-year-olds would ultimately help ensure that students have early access to foundational learning opportunities if implemented more broadly in future years. As the state continues efforts to expand access to early childhood education, it is important to ensure students and families of low-income backgrounds are fully supported in accessing these important learning opportunities.” —Josie Silver, 1st-3rd grade teacher within the Montessori program at Palmer Park Preparatory Academy in Detroit
“Children and educators will benefit from Governor Whitmer’s proposed investment in mentoring grants. This proposal would be strengthened by targeting grants to high-needs districts to ensure the program serves Michigan’s highest needs students. This is a good first step. In addition, we must ensure that teachers coming into the profession stay for the long-term, so that our students benefit from the most experienced teachers.” —Rhoshawda Miller, K-5 English Learner teacher at Ypsilanti Community Schools
Transition to Post Secondary
“The Governor’s proposed $15 million investment in supporting and incentivizing students to complete a FAFSA is an important step towards removing barriers blocking some students from completing the process. This major investment ensures that all students will access and afford post-secondary opportunities that will increase career options and expand economic mobility, ultimately improving and growing the Michigan workforce and economy.” —Jacqueline Robinson, 9th Grade ELA, English, and journalism Teacher, mentor teacher, and Teacher Lead for Equity at Southeastern High School in Detroit
About the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative
The Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative, which is co-convened by the Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus Michigan, is a highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding Michigan teachers looking to share their expertise around equity-focused instructional practices, deepen their knowledge of education policy, and gain a voice in decisions that affect historically underserved students and the teaching profession.
MTLC educators are interested in speaking with the media regarding the budget and the topics they are working on as part of this program which include:
- Revamping Michigan’s education funding system
- Increasing funding in the 2023-24 state budget for Michigan’s early childhood Great Start Readiness Program
- Inclusion of teacher retention bonuses in the 2023-24 state budget, as well as for the creation of non-monetary retention incentives
- Advocacy around a bill to require FAFSA completion or the completion of post secondary pathway
If you are interested in connecting with any members of the MTLC about these topics, the Governor’s proposed budget, or any other topics where having a conversation with an educator could support your writing or understanding of an issue, please reach out to:
Jennifer Mrozowski, APR; 248.320.1037; email@example.com or
Anya Grottel-Brown; 917.902.5902; firstname.lastname@example.org.