Whitmer signs bill restoring charter school funding increase

Alicia Urbain
Dec 20, 2019 10:43:21 AM

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed SB154 today, restoring $35 million for charter school students that she had eliminated by a line-item veto back on Oct. 1. The governor’s veto had eliminated a $240-per-pupil increase for charter school students – and charter school students only – but today’s action restores the money.

The State House and Senate voted nearly unanimously last week to restore the funding, and the Governor’s signature makes it official. Charter schools have already missed out receiving their increase in two state-aid payments – in October and November – costing charter schools about $6.3 million total.

We’re gratified that the budget restoration has been adopted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, and we’re thankful for all of the charter school parents, teachers, principals and students who spoke out on this. Children should never be used as political pawns. We’re looking forward now to working together to solve the issues that are facing students throughout the state, to make sure that every child in Michigan can receive a quality education in a quality school."

- MAPSA President, Dan Quisenberry

The Governor’s signature on the bill comes after an extraordinary two-and-a-half months in which the charter school community across the state came together in unprecedented fashion to express their outrage over the initial veto. Among the actions that were taken:

  • Over 40,000 messages were sent to the Governor and members of the Legislature by nearly 15,000 charter school teachers, principals, parents, students and supporters.
  • Press conferences were held outside the Governor’s offices in both Detroit and Lansing, as charter school teachers, parents, administrators, students and board members spoke out against the budget cut.
  • To illustrate the point that the Governor’s veto was impacting real students – with real names - members of the charter school community gathered outside the governor’s Lansing office to read the names of more than a thousand charter school students across the state.
  • Led by MAPSA’s efforts – which included a video series called the #PawnChallenge – the charter school community flooded social media with Tweets, posts, comments, videos and more directed at the decision-makers in Lansing.
  • Op-eds and letters to the editors were written to newspapers across the state, while numerous TV and radio stations did stories about the devastating impact of the cuts.
  • Charter school supporters packed the coffee hours of legislators across the state, telling their stories and expressing their outrage to Representatives and Senators.
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