School leaders: Put kids before utility company profits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, April 13, 2015

School leaders: Put kids before utility company profits

Electric competition saves public schools tens of millions of dollars each year

LANSING – Superintendents from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties today called on the Michigan Legislature to put kids before utility company profits by encouraging competition in the electricity sector. In 2014, public schools saved nearly $40 million through electric competition.

“Competition in the electricity sector has reduced utilities bills by 25 percent or more — freeing up funds to be spent where they matter most: in the classroom,” said Mark Greathead, Superintendent, Woodhaven-Brownstown School District. “We urge the legislature to weigh the devastating consequences for kids and schools before they do the bidding of monopoly utility companies and leave our kids in the dark.”

Across Michigan, more than 400 schools save money by purchasing electricity and natural gas through alternative suppliers—saving approximately 40 million in taxpayer dollars in 2014 alone.

“By purchasing electricity from an alternative supplier, Fraser Public Schools has slashed our utility bills by hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Dr. Dave Richards, Superintendent, Fraser Public Schools. “This savings has allowed us to invest in our kids, helping students learn and get the skills they need to compete for jobs.”

“After years of painful cuts, the elimination of electric competition would be a devastating blow to our schools, and would mean even more teacher layoffs and elimination of critical programs like art, music and sports,” said Mark Burton, Executive Director, Tri-County Alliance for Public Education. “We urge the Michigan Legislature to preserve electric competition and put our kids before utilities, their high-paid lobbyists and their massive profits.”

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