As Betsy DeVos continues to push an agenda that would erode public education, it’s more important than ever to elect a governor that believes in public schools. Gretchen Whitmer’s record speaks for itself.
Whitmer spent more than a decade in the State Legislature as a tireless advocate for our kids, public schools and the dedicated teachers and support staff that work in them. As a daughter and granddaughter of educators, Whitmer has deep roots in public education and fighting for our schools.
During her time in the state Senate, she promoted policies that put kids first while pushing back against attacks on our public schools:
- From her initial vote against the bill to her advocacy in the long legal case, Gretchen stood by public school employees in their fight to win back 3 percent salary increases wrongfully withheld from their paychecks.
- She took on leaders from both parties when they tried to take money out of the School Aid Fund that was meant for educating our kids.
- She fought against Republican attempts to destroy unions and take away the voice of educators in their working environments—which are our students’ learning environments.
Bill Schuette on the other hand – a public endorser of Betsy DeVos and recipient of more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the DeVos family – has a concerning track record when it comes to supporting educators and our schools.
- As attorney general, he fought for five years against returning the illegally obtained 3 percent salary increases, totaling $550 million, to the state’s public school employees.
- He claims he will ensure Michigan third graders will know how to read following a report stating that Michigan third-grade reading scores are among the lowest in the country, while at the same time rejecting a recent Detroit Public Schools court case by arguing learning to read isn’t a human right.
- While in Congress, less than 5% of the bills Schuette sponsored related to education.
Schuette’s record shows that he is anything but an advocate for public education – he fights against the growth and betterment of conditions for both school employees and students. He was given ample opportunities to prove otherwise, yet he failed to emerge as a positive influence.
The policies championed by Betsy DeVos and Bill Schuette are harming our education system. For-profit charter and cyber schools and other efforts to privatize public education undermine local neighborhood schools and hurt the chances for all students to succeed.
Gretchen Whitmer is the right choice for Michigan: she’s the type of leader who will ask educators what they need instead of telling them what to do. Stand up to the DeVos-Schuette agenda by planning how you will vote for Gretchen Whitmer in the Aug. 7 primary election.
To find other MEA recommended candidates for your area, visit MEA.YourVoter.Guide.
To see what is on your ballot, find your polling place, and request an absentee ballot if you’re not going to be around to vote in person on Aug. 7, visit www.mi.gov/vote.