FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lansing)—As a panel appointed by Governor Snyder has met today to begin discussing a transition from the State School Aid Act of 1979 toward a “Michigan Education Finance Act of 2013,” Michigan Catholic Conference is encouraging its members and those participating to focus efforts on ensuring sufficient options are available for parents to choose an educational setting that best fits their children’s needs.
“Every parent should have options as to how they believe their child or children will best be educated in the State of Michigan,” said Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate Paul Stankewitz, who will be representing the Conference at the forum. “Thirty plus years past the School Aid Act of 1979, we agree with the Administration that it’s time to step back and revaluate how education is funded and provided in a manner that is fair to all. With a primary focus on the child and his or her parents, coupled with a variety of options available to the family, education in Michigan will move forward with quality and excellence.”
Sponsored by the Oxford Foundation, and staffed by members of the Governor’s administration, including consultation from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the effort to draft a “Michigan Education Finance Act of 2013” will continue through October, when a statewide conference of interested parties in the education field will meet to review a draft bill, which will then be presented to the governor and members of the Michigan Legislature.
“Michigan Catholic Conference is pleased to have been invited today, and will provide input as the process moves forward,” said Stankewitz. “Although constitutional prohibitions have prevented Michigan from moving forward with its neighboring Great Lake states on innovative educational policies, it has been stated by members of the assembled panel that those prohibitions will not be addressed in this rewrite. As such, Michigan Catholic Conference would encourage those opposed to proposed change to avoid any attempt to sabotage the process by raising red-herring issues. Parents and children deserve better than the status quo, and this forum to rewrite the School Aid Act will move the state forward in a positive manner.”
“In the coming months it will be important to expand partnerships between different types of learning environments, such as traditional public schools, charter schools and non-public schools in an effort to serve the common good and the families of the State of Michigan,” Stankewitz concluded.
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.
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