New K-12 budget spends too much on special projects, shortchanges students
State Rep. Kathy Schmaltz today said the state’s new K-12 budget spends too much money on special projects instead of investing it directly into all Michigan students.
Schmaltz, R-Jackson, said the education budget signed by the governor last week includes $2 billion of spending on pork and other special interest programs instead of putting that money directly into the classroom. The funds for these projects could have provided nearly $1,400 more for every Michigan student.
“It’s disheartening to see how some politicians prioritize pork barrel projects over the educational needs of our children,” Schmaltz said. “Imagine the positive impact we could make on the lives of all Michigan students if this funding were instead channeled toward supporting their academic growth and helping them overcome the learning loss they’ve experienced in recent years.”
Schamltz voted against the spending plan when it was before the House – just a few hours after it was made available to legislators.
“I have too much respect for the people in our community to vote for a budget bill that’s hundreds of pages long without having a chance to review it,” Schmaltz said. “Now we know that it spends millions of dollars granting political favors instead of investing those resources into our students.”
She highlighted egregious examples of wasteful spending in the budget – including $1 million to create a “zen zone” for staff in one politically connected district to de-stress, $500,000 for a pool at another school, and $3 million for a new auditorium in another key lawmaker’s district.
“I made a commitment to take care of our children, especially those who are most vulnerable,” Schmaltz said. “Our children’s education should be a top priority. Investing in their future is an investment in a brighter and more promising tomorrow.”
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