STATEMENT: Bills provide tax relief to big business at cost of Michigan’s K-12 students

LANSING, Mich. — The following is a statement from former Michigan Republican House Speaker Rick Johnson on committee approval of House Bills 5127–5128, which would provide tax breaks to data centers at the expense of Michigan’s K-12 students:

“Michigan can no longer afford to provide tax breaks for big business at the expense of our K-12 students, who continue falling behind their peers around the country,” said Johnson, also a School Finance Research Collaborative member. “Now is the time for a new, fairer school funding approach that helps all students succeed, whether that means college, technical school, apprenticeships or jobs right after graduation. It’s time to abandon tax gimmicks that only hurt our kids and instead give them the same opportunity to get a high-quality education and compete for jobs.”

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.

In 2018, the Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair. The final Collaborative report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, English Language Learners, Career and Technical Education programs, students living in poverty, preschool, geographic isolation, district size, cost of living differences and student transportation.


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