Invest in Education to Compete for Good Jobs

education

THE PROBLEM

Michigan lags behind most states on key measures of educational achievement – everything from grade school math and reading, to high school graduation, to making college affordable. Yet Rick Snyder has cut over $1 billion from our classrooms, colleges and universities, making it harder for our children to get the quality education they need to compete for the jobs of the future. To make matters worse for students, Snyder has paved the way for a corporate takeover of public education through the unlimited expansion of for-profit charter and “cyber schools.” As a result, for-profit management companies are making millions in shareholder profits at taxpayers’ expense, while failing to educate our children.

THE SOLUTION

The single most important investment we can make in Michigan’s economy is the education of our children. That’s why education will be our top budget priority when Mark Schauer is governor. He’ll begin by reversing Rick Snyder’s devastating cuts to K-12 schools and higher education, but he won’t stop there. Mark will fight to make sure we provide a quality education to all of Michigan’s children, regardless of their ZIP code.

Mark Schauer will:

Restore funding for our K-12 classrooms and universities. Rick Snyder made deep cuts to education while giving huge tax cuts to corporations. Mark will close loopholes and end tax breaks that don’t create jobs to make needed investments in education.

Improve school readiness by putting the state on a path to universal preschool and ensuring that all students have access to community-based wraparound services before and after school that address barriers to learning.

Ensure every child has a quality teacher in the classroom by investing in rigorous teacher education and ongoing teacher training and professional development.

Increase student achievement by setting standards for maximum class sizes and teacher-to-student ratios, while providing early intervention and individualized support for students in need of assistance.

Invest in community colleges and technical and skilled trades training programs to help students get the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs. The state must do a better job of linking career and technical education, entrepreneurship, and job training to middle and high school students and employers.

Make school services more efficient by expanding efforts to consolidate services between school districts and with intermediate school districts, while maintaining local control and protecting our communities and our students from unintended consequences.

Make charter schools more transparent and accountable to taxpayers by removing the profit motive from education, making management companies subject to FOIA, preventing unlimited spending on advertising, cracking down on conflicts of interest and holding charter-issuing organizations accountable for failing schools.

Stop using the School Aid Fund as a “piggy bank” for state government and restrict the use of School Aid dollars for K-12 and preschool purposes only.

Make college more affordable for families by reversing Snyder’s cuts to higher education and enhancing state- provided, need-based financial aid.

Establish a student loan refinancing authority to allow qualified borrowers to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates.