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The election is over, there’s a new power structure in place and there’s a lot of work to be done in Lansing. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was sworn in for a second term on New Year’s Day and the new Legislature will be in session for the first time on Jan. 12.
And after three school years of pandemic-interrupted learning, and plenty of evidence that students have fallen tragically behind as a result, parents and families have one basic question of their leaders in Lansing: “What are you going to do about it?”
Elected to a second and final term, Gov. Whitmer delivered her inauguration remarks on Jan. 1 from the steps of the State Capitol. She spoke in broad strokes about her priorities for the next four years, and when it came to education, it was hard to disagree with anything she said.
“Let’s empower every child, no matter where they live, so that they can pursue their potential, by continuing to make record investments in education from preschool to post-secondary,” Gov. Whitmer said.
Amen to that. Charter schools are all about offering opportunities to students no matter where they live, and there’s no question that investing in students needs to be a top priority.
In the coming weeks and months, with Democrats in control of all levels of state government, we’re going to see a flood of bills introduced and committee hearings scheduled. Students – and not special interests – should be the focus of every piece of legislation. Here’s a roadmap Lansing should follow.
Our leaders should support policies that advance achievement for all public school students, especially for some of the state’s most historically underserved student populations.