Progress Michigan Hits Road With False School 'Cuts' Claims

Respect for the facts still matters

Progress Michigan, a left-progressive advocacy group, has launched an outreach campaign targeting voters in 11 state House districts. Among other things, the campaign will promote the organization’s inaccurate claims that recent legislatures have cut spending on public schools. Progress Michigan claims the last six years have “included cuts to education funding.”

“There is a lot of spin coming from Lansing about education, but parents and teachers who have dealt with cuts and seen first-hand the state of schools know that the GOP education plan has been a failure,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, in a press release.

ForTheRecord says: The claim that Michigan’s public schools are getting fewer state dollars has been widely promoted and just as widely debunked. Mark Schauer, the Democratic candidate for governor in 2014, made the claim a central theme of his failed campaign. In the early months of that year, Michigan Capitol Confidential published multiple reports showing actual budget and appropriation figures contradicting the claim.

Michigan’s mainstream media eventually got it right too. The Detroit Free Press, the statewide news site MLive and the Citizens Research Council were among the organizations refuting Schauer’s “cuts to education” claims, which ultimately backfired on him.

Yet, Progress Michigan still finds the false claim too useful to let go.

So, once again: According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, state funding for K-12 schools has increased every year since the GOP gained control of the legislature.

State dollars devoted to K-12 public education increased from $10.81 billion in 2010-11 (the final state budget signed by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm) to $12.34 billion in the current 2016-17 budget.