Governor Says Investment in Education Strengthens Economy, Helps Create New Jobs in Michigan

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

August 8, 2008

Radio address highlights K-12 budget for small high schools, early education

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that the K-12 education budget she signed into law this week invests in education, which will strengthen our economy and help create the new jobs we need in Michigan.  Specifically, the legislation increases funding for Michigan's K-12 schools, promotes early childhood education, and targets the state's dropout rate by creating the 21st Century Schools Fund.

"Today, when most jobs require education beyond high school, tens of thousands of our young people fail to even finish high school," Granholm said.  "The high schools that work, that are created by this 21st Century Schools Fund, will get kids excited about learning by connecting them to good-paying jobs that exist in Michigan today."

Granholm noted that the 21st Century Schools Fund will help school districts create many more of these smaller high schools over the next six years that will replace large, impersonal schools that fail, with smaller schools that use strong relationships and real-world rigor to help kids succeed.

The governor's education agenda has also included a $4,000 Michigan Promise scholarship to use toward a college degree or technical training.

"Every child in Michigan deserves a chance to attend a high school that works," said Granholm.  "And when they do, our economy will work better, too."

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at ( www.michigan.gov/gov ) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address - K-12 Budget/Small High Schools
August 8, 2008

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov157_Full_244681_7.mp3 
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov157_Edit_244682_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov157_Quote_244684_7.mp3

This is Governor Granholm.

Education in Michigan took a big step forward this week when I signed into law the new budget for our K-12 schools.  Even in a year when we are making cuts in many areas of our state budget, we were able to make new investments in education.

We know that investment in education pays dividends for everyone, because it strengthens our economy and helps create the new jobs we need in Michigan.

That's why I am proud we are increasing per pupil funding in our schools by up to $112 per student, with the biggest increases going to the schools that have been making do with less for years.

In addition to increasing per-pupil funding, our education budget includes $10 million to expand pre-school for Michigan children, which is the best way to ensure that they come to kindergarten ready to succeed.
We are also asking school districts to increase the number of hours kids spend in kindergarten to increase their early learning preparedness.

Our budget includes $15 million to create the 21st Century Schools Fund.  That's a fund that's going to replace the large, impersonal high schools that fail, with smaller schools that work, using intensive, rigorous standards, strong personal relationships, and real-world relevance to help students succeed in college and on the job.

Today, when most jobs require education beyond high school, tens of thousands of our young people fail to even finish high school.  For them, dropping-out likely means a lifetime of dead-end, low-wage jobs. 
For our economy in Michigan, the dropout problem means fewer workers with the skills we need to diversify and grow jobs.

The high schools that work that are created by this 21st Century Schools Fund will get kids excited about learning by connecting them to good-paying jobs that exist in Michigan today.

We have a few of these early college high schools in Michigan.  Some of their students were at my side when I signed the K-12 budget.

These young people are impressive.  They've got specific career plans and know they are attending a high school that can turn their dreams into reality if they work hard.  Our 21st Century Schools Fund is going to help school districts create many more of these schools over the next six years.

Every child in Michigan deserves a chance to attend a high school that works.  And when they do, our economy will work better too.

Thank you for listening.