Whitmer vetoes target northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula school districts

Whitmer vetoes target northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula school districts

Senator Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — Assistant Senate Majority Leader Wayne Schmidt on Friday announced that schools in his district are facing an uncertain future as a result of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto-riddled budget signed earlier this week.

“It really is a shame what she’s doing,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “This budget funded our schools at record levels and northern Michigan legislators have worked hard to get schools in our districts on an equal playing field.”

The lawmaker took issue specifically with the governor’s drastic vetoes to isolated northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula school districts.

“I believe she is targeting northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula districts and blackmailing the Legislature into signing on to her massive gas tax,” Schmidt said. “Students should not be used as leverage toward political goals.”

Whitmer vetoed funding for each of the districts, leaving them with a major dent in their funding by the end of this coming school year. Schmidt expressed his concern about the uncertain futures each of these districts may face.

The specific districts that would be affected by the governor’s vetoes are Whitefish Township Community Schools, Beaver Island Community Schools, Mackinac Island Public Schools and Detour Area Schools on Drummond Island.

Schmidt said he is having ongoing discussions with district superintendents, concerned parents and fellow legislators to see what options may be available moving forward.

“I’ve already held discussions with superintendents, and my office is fielding calls from a number of parents looking for an explanation,” Schmidt said. “Some schools may not make it to the end of the school year. Funding for isolated districts was originally in the governor’s budget recommendation and is funding that my colleagues and I in the Legislature boosted by $1 million. I certainly question her reasoning behind this move.”