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State Board of Education Urges Voters to Not Sign Ballot Initiative Petition

LANSING – Michigan’s State Board of Education on Tuesday adopted a resolution that strongly opposes a ballot initiative that would grant tax credits for contributions to scholarship programs that could be used for nonpublic schooling and urges voters not to sign the petition.

“This is a thinly veiled attempt to enact private school vouchers in Michigan and subvert a democratic vote of the people to amend our state constitution – a constitution that protects public tax dollars from being given to private schools,” said State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra Ulbrich.

If at least 340,047 valid signatures are collected, this ballot initiative may be presented to the state legislature for approval, without placement on the ballot, a majority vote of the people, or the possibility of a governor’s veto.

“The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates that this voucher proposal would reduce state revenue by as much as $500 million in the first year, with the potential for revenue loss to increase 20% per year in later years,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “This will devastate our state’s public schools—schools that provide a free education to every child in every corner of our state. We can’t let that happen.”

Michigan’s Constitution prohibits any “payment, credit, tax benefit exemption or deduction, tuition voucher, subsidy grant or loan of public money” from being provided “directly or indirectly to support the attendance of any student at any nonpublic school.”