February 10, 2022—Teach Plus Michigan today issued the following statement on Governor Whitmer’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-23.
“Teach Plus Michigan, The Education Trust-Midwest, and members of the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative (MTLC) are thrilled to see Governor Whitmer investing more in our low-income students in her 2022-23 budget proposal. In particular, we applaud the Governor’s efforts to strike a legislative loophole that has historically led to low-income students receiving fewer dollars than they are entitled to. Teach Plus believes that fully funding the 11.5% weight that low-income students receive on top of the per-pupil amount is a necessary next step towards educational equity. Furthermore, we strongly support Governor Whitmer’s proposed funding for Grow Your Own teacher preparation programs, which will help alleviate the current teacher shortage and lead to a more diverse teaching workforce.
“As the Legislature debates the Governor’s budget proposal, we call on lawmakers to realize our collective vision for equity by making sure our budget is not balanced on the backs of our most vulnerable low income students,” said Ben Locke, Teach Plus Michigan State Director. “Teachers know how vital it is for students who need the most resources to actually receive them, and we hope that the Legislature will continue to listen to educators as decisions are made.”
“The loophole in our budget has allowed money to be stolen from the students and the schools that need it the most. Guaranteeing this additional 11.5% per-pupil funding will allow our schools to provide services and resources that our students have lost through chronic underfunding; resources like arts and music instruction, access to counselors and social workers, functioning school libraries, and up to date curriculum and materials. Closing the loophole is an important first step in working to create a more equitable funding system so that all Michigan students can get the education they deserve,” said Frances Lazette, a French and individuals & societies teacher at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a member of the 2021-22 MTLC cohort.
“For too long, Michigan’s education system has served as an engine of inequality when it should be providing equitable opportunities for all children to learn,” said Mary Grech, Chief of Staff at the Education Trust-Midwest. “We applaud the increased investments in students from low-income backgrounds, English language learners, students with disabilities and students in rural school districts included in Governor Whitmer’s proposed budget, which are critical steps on the long journey to becoming a more fair and equitable education state.”
About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. teachplus.org
About the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative
The Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative (MTLC) 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. The Education Trust-Midwest and Teach Plus co-convene the MTLC.
Contact: Anya Grottel-Brown, email@example.com, 917-902-5902