Rep. Driskell Calls for Applying Unused Funds to K-12 Education

Michigan should use unspent dollars to help kids compete for 21st century jobs
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

LANSING — State Representative Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) urged redirecting $94.9 million in unspent General Fund dollars from 2012 into the state’s School Aid Fund to offset cuts to education funding. Over the past two years, almost $2 billion has been diverted from school funding to enable massive tax breaks for corporations.

“The smartest investment we can make to bolster the economy is offering a world-class education,” Driskell said. “Making Michigan’s schools great will not only give kids the skills they need to succeed, but will also provide an educated workforce that will attract companies to Michigan, ultimately increasing our property values.”

Since 2011, the Republicans’ unprecedented school funding cuts have led to overcrowded classrooms, limited curriculums, pay-to-play programs and the continued depletion of school fund balances. The defunding of K-12 education leaves Michigan’s children woefully unprepared to enter college or start careers after graduation, and makes Michigan a less competitive state to attract new business.

“The governor talks about the importance of recruiting talent to the state. It is time to put these words into action,” Driskell said. “If we want to move Michigan and its economy forward, we have to give children all the resources they need. Education is the first place to start.”