"I believe every Michigan kid has a birthright to a great public education," says Democratic candidate for governor Gretchen Whitmer, unveiling her campaign's plan for education on Friday.
Whitmer says Michigan used to have one of the best public education systems in the country; now it's in the bottom ten. She says K - 12 schools have to get more money, so first and foremost, the state needs to stop "stealing" money from the School Aid Fund.
"If we just drew a line and ensured that the School Aid Fund was used for its constitutionally intended purpose, we could infuse three-quarters of a billion dollars into our K-12 education system," she says.
The plan also includes phasing in universal preschool, and tripling the number of literacy coaches in school to address the abysmal reading scores of Michigan's schoolchildren.
"But you can't fix education if you don't support great people going into education," Whitmer adds, "and that's why part of the plan is getting back into a place where we treat educators like professionals, improving their pay and working conditions and giving them ongoing, meaningful professional development opportunities, so we have great teachers in the classrooms with our kids."
The plan also calls for each child to have a path towards a high-wage job by the end of high school, whether that's in skilled trades or a four-year degree. The plan also envisions increasing the foundational per-pupil state payment for schools in low-income communities.