LANSING, MI – In a since-deleted Facebook post this weekend, the Michigan Democratic Party claimed that parents who can’t afford private school shouldn’t have a say in their children’s education.
Michigan Freedom Fund Executive Director Tori Sachs condemned the post in a statement:
“The radical Leftists at Whitmer’s Democrat Party think they know better than parents,” said Sachs. “Claiming that parents who can’t afford private schools shouldn’t get a say in their children’s public school education is not only crazy – it’s against the law. Yet Governor Whitmer has sided with teachers unions against parents and students again and again.“Whitmer vetoed reading scholarships and opportunity accounts for parents to use on things like transportation, tutoring, and tuition at a school of their choice. Today, thousands of Michigan students remain locked out of their classrooms without the option to attend open schools or receive additional tutoring because of Whitmer’s vetoes. Government must be accountable to the people, and public schools must answer to parents – not the Whitmer Democrats, teachers unions and school bureaucrats.”
Contrary to the Michigan Democrats’ post, Michigan law states in Section 380.10:
“It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children. The public schools of this state serve the needs of the pupils by cooperating with the pupil’s parents and legal guardians to develop the pupil’s intellectual capabilities and vocational skills in a safe and positive environment.”
The Democrats’ Facebook post angered parents and education activists across the state. Great Lakes Education Project executive director Beth DeShone said in a statement:
“The Michigan Democratic Party might not get it, but no one knows what a child needs most like his or her parents,” said DeShone. “The Party’s classist attack on low-income and other parents is absolutely astonishing – and very telling. Public school is about kids, not Democrats’ political policy agenda. Parents are demanding Gretchen Whitmer and other key elected Democrats reject this educational extremism and hold their party accountable.”
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey stated on Twitter:
“This is a slap in the face of parents who might not have the means to afford private school but who still expect and DESERVE a say in the education of their children.”
House Education Committee Chairwoman Pamela Hornberger responded in a Facebook post:
“Michigan Democrats have continually sided with the education establishment and unions to fight against school choice and parent empowerment. Their decisions harm our students. If the education establishment and unions continue to fund Democrats, the Democrats will continue to vote against the best interest of Michigan’s students and families.”
American Federation of Children director of research Corey D’Angelis said on Twitter:
“They didn’t learn anything from Virginia. (The) Michigan legislature passed two bills to fund students instead of systems in 2021. But Governor Whitmer sided with the teachers union monopoly.”
D’Angelis went on to encourage parents to support a petition to override Whitmer’s vetoes. Michigan Student Opportunity Accounts would enable families to access open schools, tutoring, and other tools to address learning loss and meet students’ individual learning needs.
The Michigan Freedom Fund works to advance conservative ideas, hold our government accountable to taxpayers, and protect Freedom, opportunity, and workers’ Constitutional rights. For more information, please visit MichiganFreedomFund.com.