Opinion: Closing skills gap must be top priority in Michigan

As superintendent of Wayne RESA, I see firsthand the skills gap that continues to separate Michigan’s students from good-paying jobs in competitive fields.

Through no fault of their own, students here in Wayne County and across Michigan continue falling behind, causing them to lose out on opportunities to their peers in other states and around the globe.

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PRESS RELEASE: Michigan business, education leaders weigh in on House K-12 budget

LANSING, Mich. — The following are statements from Michigan business and education leaders who serve on the School Finance Research Collaborative reacting to today’s House School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee approval of a 2020 school budget plan.

Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, SFRC Project Director

“It’s time for a new school funding method that provides all students the same opportunity to receive a high-quality education and compete for jobs. The School Finance Research Collaborative has provided the roadmap to fixing Michigan’s broken school funding approach to serve all students, regardless of zip code, income, learning challenges or other circumstances. I encourage the Legislature to support Gov. Whitmer’s school funding plan, which supports the Collaborative’s research and provides the building blocks for student success.”

Doug Maibach, Barton Malow Enterprises chairman

“Michigan businesses rely on our public schools to provide students with the skills needed to fill thousands of unfilled jobs across our state. I encourage the Legislature to support Gov. Whitmer’s school funding proposal, which includes additional funding for Career and Technical Education programs that provide the foundation for successful careers in the skilled trades.”


The School Finance Research Collaborative is a diverse group of business leaders and education experts, from Metro Detroit to the U.P., who agree it’s time to change the way Michigan’s schools are funded. Read the full Collaborative report.

For media inquiries, contact Christopher Behnan, Byrum & Fisk Communications, at (517) 333-1606, ext. 1