Important Context on Governor Whitmer’s Tutoring Proposal
Whitmer Repeatedly Vetoed Tutoring Funding After Closing Michigan Schools
LANSING – The Great Lakes Education Project today provided important context surrounding the history of tutoring programs and funding proposals in the years since Governor Gretchen Whitmer locked kids out of their classrooms against the advice of pediatricians and education experts. Whitmer claimed on social media today she supports increased funding for school bureaucrats to provide tutoring services, but the governor repeatedly vetoed funding for tutoring services over the last two years.
Instead of equipping parents with funding and options to meet the specific and unique needs of their very different children, the proposal is expected to simply add funding to an already broken system.
“Doubling down on the systems and bureaucracies that have already failed our kids won’t produce better results,” said Beth DeShone, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Education Project. “Years of locked classrooms and vetoed investment from Gretchen Whitmer have put our children catastrophically behind. Parents and reformers have spent years clamoring for more support, but all they’ve gotten is the Governor’s veto pen. Instead of throwing more money at failed programs, we encourage Whitmer and her legislative allies to give parents choices and resources for their kids, not pumping billions more into broken systems.”
The Michigan Department of Education late last year announced that 54 school districts with a total of 112 schools will be forced to enter into partnership agreements with the state of Michigan to help improve academic outcomes. Hundreds of other schools require additional support from the state.
The number of schools and districts in crisis has risen steeply over the last 4 years. According to a report from Gongwer News Service, the number of schools in need of comprehensive support is up from 162 in 2016-2017 to 255. Those in need of additional targeted support is up from 60 to 68, and those targeted for support and improvement is up from 63 to 138.
Test scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress identified additional devastating learning loss.
The NAEP scores – often referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card” put Michigan’s 4th grade reading scores at 40th in the nation, with 4th grade math scores little better at 35th. The scores plummeted over the last 2 years amidst unscientific school closures mandated by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and public school bureaucrats.
NAEP numbers mirror test results reported in September by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) which also indicated our students have fallen faster and farther behind in reading and math than ever imagined.
According to NCES, average scores for age 9 students fell further than at any time in more than 3 decades, while math scores for the same students declined for the first time since the implementation of the testing.
Learning experts attribute our students’ lost learning to decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic to lock children out of their classrooms, despite warnings from pediatricians and public health experts that school closures would do more harm than good.
The Great Lakes Education Project is a bi-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education for all Michigan students. GLEP strongly supports efforts to improve academic achievement, increase accountability and empower parental choice in our schools.