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Rep. Meerman asks Gov. Whitmer to reconsider cuts to online schools

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Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Luke Meerman

State Representative Luke Meerman sent a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer Friday. In it, he and members of the House and Senate School Aid and PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittees ask Governor Whitmer to provide equal per-pupil public school funding.

In February, when fiscal year 2024 budget recommendations were made, one proposed public online charter schools receive a 20% per-pupil funding reduction.

Shortly after the recommendation was made to the House Appropriations Committee, State Budget Director Chris Harkins explained that it’s, “intended to reflect the lack of some of the infrastructure needs that some of our perhaps more traditional schools have.”

Representative Meerman counters there are numerous reasons why public cyber schools are a learning option. The Republican serving West Michigan’s 89th District points out the cyber option accommodates a diverse student body. Vulnerable students with special needs, others have compromised immune systems or mental health considerations. And there are populations of bullied students where an online education provides protection.

21,200 students attend online public charter schools statewide.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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