Education will be an important topic in this year’s election because it speaks to a candidate’s plan for Michigan’s future. Gov. Rick Snyder has laid out a clear, sensible plan to continue and expand upon the progress our education system has made these past three years – which is a stark contrast from what his challenger, Mark Schauer, has offered.
Starting with childhood education, Snyder made a $65 million investment in 2013 that allowed 16,000 new kids to attend preschool. Not stopping there, his 2015 budget includes an additional $65 million for early childhood education.
In K-12, Michigan is continuing to set a high bar for innovation and investment. Spending has increased every year for the last three years, increasing per-pupil spending by more than $660 per student. What’s more, K-12 education funding has increased by $1 billion since Granholm let us down for one final year in 2010.
In fact, education spending is at its highest point in Michigan’s history at $13.36 billion, according to the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency.
This unprecedented investment in education has had tangible results. Since 2011, the number of Michigan students graduating high school has risen 2.63 percent.
Snyder has developed and implemented education policies that effectively utilizes our existing resources and create new and exciting opportunities for our children’s future.
The reason it’s so critical to have a comprehensive plan is to ensure we are educating our children for the world they will inherit, not the one that exists today.
Throughout the years America’s economy has changed dramatically, and Michigan was no different – career options became more demanding and started requiring more technical training.
With Snyder’s background, he understood this changing relationship and found new ways to bridge the gap between employers and job seekers.
In 2012, the Pure Michigan Talent Connect was launched to connect individuals to good-paying careers in a variety of growing industries – including careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
By collaborating with innovators, we’ve recognized the type of jobs and skills employers are looking for. These relationships have allowed Michigan to build a strong foundation that addresses the future educational needs of our children.
Snyder’s proposal for the future encourages voluntary programs to extend classes year-round to help ensure students are making continual progress, teacher evaluation effectiveness reforms that ensure we have the best teachers teaching our kids, and the list goes on.
Snyder promised to reform our education system and that’s what he’s done. By looking at long-term solutions, rather than short-term political gimmicks, Michigan is creating an environment of opportunity for this generation and future generations of Comeback State kids.
Michigan has come a long way from the failed policies of Mark Schauer, a chief architect of the Lost Decade. On the other end of that decade, Schauer’s inability to provide a detailed plan for our children is not what Michigan needs or deserves.
We need to keep moving Michigan forward, and it’s clear Gov. Rick Snyder is the only candidate in the race with a clear plan to continue Michigan’s comeback.