School leaders endorse ballot initiative to increase school funding, fix roads

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 15, 2015

LANSING – Public school superintendents across Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties today announced their support of Proposal 1 on the May 5 ballot that would generate billions of dollars to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges and strengthen funding for classrooms. The action was taken at a Jan. 5, 2015, executive board meeting of the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education.

“We applaud Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature for crafting a bipartisan road funding solution that also protects and enhances funding for schools,” said Randy Liepa, Superintendent, Livonia Public Schools. “We look forward to working with the education community across the state to inform and educate voters about the importance of supporting Proposal 1.”

The Michigan Legislature approved a plan in December to place a proposal on the May 5 ballot which would:

-Raise the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent
-Repeal the sales tax on fuel
-Restrict the use of School Aid Fund dollars in higher education
-Generate $300 million in additional funds for public schools annually

“Gov. Snyder and the Legislature deserve credit for presenting a common-sense plan that addresses two critical investment priorities of Michigan citizens – to repair our roads and bridges and to strengthen our kids’ education,” said Robert D. Livernois, Superintendent, Warren Consolidated Schools. “For the next four months, we’ll be laser-focused on educating parents, school employees, and the greater community about the need to support this critical ballot proposal that will benefit our kids and our economy.”

“Passing this proposal means Michigan will see over a billion dollars more for roads and bridges, hundreds of millions more for our kids’ education and millions more from additional savings in maintenance and repair costs,” said Kenneth Gutman, Superintendent, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools. “Safe, well-maintained roads benefit everyone in Michigan and, as superintendents, we believe we must seize this opportunity to move Michigan forward and invest in our kids.”

The Tri-County Alliance for Public Education is a coalition of education leaders committed to fighting for strong K-12 schools across Michigan. Comprised of Superintendents from every district in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, they are collectively responsible for educating nearly 600,000 students (approximately 40% of the statewide K-12 population).