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Michigan Senate passes bill to allow Charter Schools to use money raised from property tax: DeVos money supported Senators who co-sponsored legislation

October 26, 2017

Last week, SB 0574 was passed by the Michigan Senate, which would allow Charter Schools to receive funding from property tax money raised in school districts. An analysis of the bill states:

One key to attracting families and businesses to Michigan is building strong school systems. Strengthening Michigan’s schools will bolster the State’s future workforce and help develop a strong talent pipeline within the State. Charter schools are a growing part of the educational system in Michigan and contribute to the strength of its communities by providing students with many unique educational opportunities that traditional public schools cannot reproduce.

Another section in the analysis looks specifically at the Kent Intermediate School District, and states:

In Kent Intermediate School District, for example, more than 14,000 students attend public school academies. A recent millage placed before the voters in that ISD will generate approximately $20.0 million over the next 10 years for schools there. If the bill had already been enacted, it could have allowed all students in Kent ISD, rather than just those who attend traditional public schools, to benefit from that money.

Senator Dave Hildenbrand, who introduced the bill was quoted in the Detroit News as saying, 

I introduced this bill because there’s over 14,000 public school students in Kent County that are not being treated fairly. They’re not receiving the same resources as other public school students in our county.

The other Senator co-sponsors of this bill were Senator’s Phil Pavlov, Pat Colbeck, Mike Shirkey, Peter MacGregor and Mike Kowall. Together with Sen. Hildenbrand, they have been the recipients of money from West Michigan’s wealthiest families, including the DeVos Family, the Meijer Family and John Kennedy. (Source: Michigan Campaign Finance Network http://mcfn.org/donor-tracking)

So, on the day before that US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos appeared in Grand Rapids at the Acton Institute gala, the Michigan Senate passing legislation that fits in perfectly with what Betsy DeVos has been lobbying for over the past two decades, the use of public money for charter schools. 

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