Lindsey supports plan to strengthen education standards, improve outcomes

Lindsey supports plan to strengthen education standards, improve outcomes

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jonathan Lindsey voiced his support for a recently introduced legislative package aimed at improving educational results in Michigan’s K-12 schools.

“The time spent inside of a public school spans some of a child’s most formative years and is when some of the most meaningful growth takes place,” said Lindsey, R-Allen. “The policies enacted by the Democrat majority last year took away critical benchmarks and support, setting the stage for Michigan students to fall even further behind their peers in other states.

“The state’s K-12 education budget has grown and grown, yet the results have gotten worse and worse. It’s time we look at proven policies, strategically and responsibly invest in those areas, and explore other new ideas on how we can do better.”

The four pillars of the MI Brighter Future plan are:

  1. Set the bar high. Strengthen key provisions of the third-grade reading law, require student progress to be part of every teacher’s evaluation process once again, and restore the A-F grading scale for parents to easily understand how schools are performing.
  2. The best teachers where they’re needed most. Provide bonuses to highly effective teachers who take positions in schools where they can have the biggest impact.
  3. Give every kid a chance. No student should ever be left behind because of their means or ZIP code. Scholarship opportunities will help families afford additional educational assistance and help cover the costs of summer or after-school reading programs.
  4. Back to the basics. Reading is the foundation of a successful education. But too many schools have gone away from teaching the basics and reading scores have plummeted. Our plan will ensure teachers are trained in proven phonics-based reading methods that have worked for decades.

“These bills are just a start of what I’d like to see,” Lindsey said. “Michigan students rank in the bottom 10 states in a number of critical metrics. We are 43rd nationally for high school graduation rates and reading proficiency, only 32% of our fourth graders are proficient in math, and the average SAT scores are the lowest since the test became statewide in 2015.

“Removing teacher accountability and critical academic benchmarks is a failing strategy and always will be. Accountability is critical to improvement and success, and holding those responsible for educating our children to the highest standards is the only acceptable option.”

In an effort to further expand options available to parents, Lindsey also introduced an additional reform, separate from the education package, that would allow parents to claim a tax credit equal to the minimum per-pupil foundation allowance if they do not have a child in a public school.

“Michigan families are increasingly deciding the school system is not serving the best interest of their children and they should not be financially penalized for that,” he said. “People shouldn’t bear the tax burden of a service they don’t use and that doesn’t live up to basic standards.”

Senate Bills 710-715 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Education, and Lindsey’s tax reform, SB 556, has been referred to the Committee on Finance, Insurance, and Consumer Protection.


Skip to content