Statement from State Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) on the Governor's veto of funding for pre-college engineering programs in Michigan, including GRAPCEP

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

“This latest assault on our schools by the Governor is simply appalling. It’s unacceptable how he and other Republican leaders tell people what they want to hear and talk about the importance of investing in education, yet they continue to slash school funding any chance they get. As if historic cuts to education and needlessly raiding money for the School Aid Fund wasn’t enough, now the Governor seems to be targeting programs with a proven track record of success.

GRAPCEP is a prime example of the ‘value for money’ guideline that the Governor claims to have been using during the state budget process. Investing in GRAPCEP would provide crucial support to a program that graduates 99 percent of its students and sends nearly all of its students to college, despite the fact that more than 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches. It would also support our businesses, as GRAPCEP provides a strong foundation for students to become the highly skilled and talented workforce businesses need to help them grow. Yet the Governor ignored the value of this program, just as he ignored the thousands of people across Michigan demanding that he protect our schools from unnecessary cuts. These short-sighted, irresponsible and dangerous cuts to our schools will only jeopardize the future of our kids and our state, and do nothing to continue Michigan’s economic turnaround.”