DeVos-backed voucher scheme petitions withdrawn

On Monday, the Secretary of State’s office announced that the DeVos-backed voucher initiative, “Let My Kids Learn,” withdrew their petitions from consideration. The multi-million dollar attempt by DeVos and Co. to implement a school voucher scheme in Michigan has officially failed!

DeVos’ attempt to circumvent the will of the public by initiating a law with only legislative approval backfired after months of work and millions of dollars spent in fraudulent signature collection.  This is a tremendous win for students and public schools, with the withdrawal meaning the measures will not go to either the new Democratically-controlled Legislature or the November 2024 ballot.  Simply put, the issue is dead (at least until DeVos and her forces try again).

Thank you to everyone who engaged in the fight against these measures with our allies in the “For MI Kids, For Our Schools” coalition.  From reporting signature collection locations to engaging in “decline to sign” conversations to sharing information about this deceptive proposal with your friends and colleagues, we’ve proven yet again that the power of Michigan’s people can and will defeat Betsy DeVos’ checkbook.

The following statement was released on Monday by For MI Kids:

DeVos Voucher Scheme Withdrawn from Board of State Canvassers

Pro-public education coalition celebrates announcement as a victory for public school students, educators, and parents

LANSING – According to an announcement from the Michigan Secretary of State, the DeVos-backed voucher initiative, deceptively named “Let MI Kids Learn,” has withdrawn its petition with the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, meaning the effort will not be seeking approval by the Board and will not be on the 2024 ballot in its current form. In response, For MI Kids, For Our Schools, a coalition of parents and educators opposing the initiative, released the following statement.

“We are not surprised that this disastrous petition was pulled and we’re very pleased because this marks a major victory for public school students, parents, and educators. Over the years — and especially last November — Michiganders have shown time and time again at the ballot box that they do not support efforts to defund public education,” said Casandra Ulbrich, spokesperson for For MI Kids, For MI Schools. “Betsy DeVos and her allies never wanted the people of Michigan to vote on this, which is why they wanted to, and subsequently failed to ram it through a favorable legislature last year. We will remain vigilant over the coming years, as DeVos and her anti-public education allies have shown that they’re willing to go above and beyond to try to destroy our neighborhood schools.”

The DeVos-backed “Let MI Kids Learn” proposal would have created a voucher-like system where hundreds of millions of dollars would be ripped away from public education to, benefit wealthy individuals and businesses via tax breaks. Some estimates concluded that billions of dollars could have been siphoned away from public schools over time if this proposal had passed.

“This DeVos proposal was a disaster waiting to happen,” Ulbrich continued. “It’s time now for our lawmakers and communities to focus on what everyone agrees needs to happen: more investment in public education to address the educator shortage, support students’ mental health needs directly in schools, and ensure every teacher has the resources they need for their classroom. That’s what the people of Michigan truly want – not another DeVos anti-public education scheme.”

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