Statement Regarding the Student Opportunity Scholarship Program

In response to Michigan House (Bills 5404 and 5405) and Senate (Bills 687 and 688) legislation on creating the Student Opportunity Scholarship Program, please see the statement from Michigan Association of School Boards’ Executive Director Don Wotruba, CAE below:

“These bills are clearly a violation of Michigan’s Constitution, which prohibits direct and indirect aid to nonpublic schools. The voters spoke overwhelmingly in 2000 with 69% opposing a ballot initiative that would have created a similar system. This proposal is even more expensive and more detrimental to our public schools and the families that attend them.

The sponsors of the bills mention federal court action; we question why they aren’t waiting for that action to happen? The two most recent U.S. Supreme Court cases on vouchers didn’t meet the needs of those who wish to undermine public education in Michigan so now they are trying to create their own case here by passing legislation that clearly goes against Michigan’s Constitution. We will not have successful public schools if we allow over a half a billion dollars to be transferred to private entities.”

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