Statement from state Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) on her vote against the House School Omnibus Budget

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

“While I am pleased to see that incremental progress was made for education in the state, overall, the school budget as offered mishandled significant issues, or left them off the table altogether. All children deserve a quality education, yet rather than seeing a focus on fixing the infrastructure of brick-and-mortar school buildings, equal amounts of funding are being allocated to traditional and cyber schools alike, putting the majority of children who attend traditional schools at a significant disadvantage. In addition, the House appropriated less money for higher education than the executive recommendation called for, and yet the amendment to rectify this $12 million gap was defeated. Standardized tests carry increasing weight for student outcomes, yet this budget now eliminates the funding for the SAT, which is mandatory — and in fact this elimination might well be a Headlee Act violation. I feel that much of this would have been addressed had the state’s school adequacy study been completed on time. Despite being due on March 31, they received an extension, leaving stakeholders and legislators alike in the dark about funding needs. We need a budget with fair and adequate funding that doesn’t pit districts against each other. That process can only begin when the study has been completed, and we can operate as an informed body who understands the cost not only of education in the present, but what we need to move our state forward, too.”