Proposal would end Promise

LANSING, Mich. - Senate Republicans have proposed eliminating the Michigan Promise scholarship in the beginning rounds of state budget discussions, but the education adviser to Gov. Jennifer Granholm said the governor will not sign on, according to an article in The Grand Rapids Press.

Looking at an anticipated overspending crisis of $1.7 billion in the state budget next year, lawmakers proposed ending the $4,000-per-student scholarship program as of this fall, for a savings of $140 million, The Press reported. They also recommended $60 million in cuts in needs-based scholarships as well as cuts in revenue sharing and health care.

State Sen. Tony Stamas, R-Midland, said, "These are budgets that accurately reflect what we will need to do to align (spending) with our revenue," the report said. But Chuck Wilbur, Granholm's education adviser, said that, "Elimination of the Promise grant is not on the table," according to The Press.

Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University officials told The Press that their students received $2 million and $7.6 million in Promise grants, respectively, during the past year.

Lawmakers now will begin the lengthy process of moving toward a final state budget, a process likely to include significant debate over spending reductions and new revenue sources, including tax increases, the article said.

The Grand Rapids Press, "State Senate Republicans propose steep spending cuts, including elimination of Michigan Promise scholarships," June 16, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "More diplomas, more ivory tower research won't cure Michigan's ills," March 7, 2006