Budget plans passed by the House this week put too much taxpayer money into higher education services used by out-of-state and international students and too few dollars toward K-12 education, said state Rep. Ryan Berman, who voted against the education plans.
“I could not support an increase in our state’s higher education budget, knowing these funds go to colleges and universities with no guarantee that they are spent on improving educational opportunities for Michigan students,” said Berman, of Commerce Township. “Likewise, I believe that we can take those dollars and give hardworking taxpayers more value by increasing the investment we make in our K-12 schools. I’ve heard from the superintendents, teachers and schools I represent that this budget plan could better serve our classrooms.”
The House-passed education plans raise funding for higher education to $1.6 billion and increase the state’s minimum per-pupil foundation allowance $180 for most Michigan schools, but Berman said he feels the Legislature can do more to support public education–including early childhood education– and ensure tax dollars end up in the classrooms.
The House plans for K-12 education and higher education are House Bills 4242 and 4236.