MIDLAND, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a package of education bills today that would have given students across the state access to opportunity scholarships.
The veto runs contrary to public opinion, which overwhelmingly supports giving parents flexible spending options to support their children’s learning. Polling data released last week by Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth shows more than 80% of Michigan residents support families having access to education savings accounts.
Jessie Bagos, a parent of two first grade students and a client of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, testified in support of these bills. “This veto demonstrates that Gov. Whitmer is not putting our kids first. When our public schools refused to open their doors, our kids suffered,” said Bagos. “Many of us are still dealing with long-term effects from those bad decisions. Families should have options in schooling so that our children have every opportunity in the world and to ensure that we are never held hostage by local school officials again!”
The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is currently challenging the state constitution’s anti-religious Blaine Amendment, which prohibits parents from being able to use public funds to pay for private schooling. The Bagos family is one of five families who are fighting to be able to access education savings accounts for private school tuition.
“Many Michigan parents are crying out to be trusted as key partners and decision-makers in their children's education, to get them the help and opportunities they need,” said Ben DeGrow, director of education policy at the Mackinac Center. “It's extremely disappointing to see Gov. Whitmer wield her power to resist their pleas and instead placate the union officials and bureaucrats who don't want to share even a little control of education dollars.”
You can learn more about the Mackinac Center’s work on education here and more about our lawsuit here.
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