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Priority No. 1: The Chamber is Leading the Business Community’s Education and Talent Policy Agenda

Over the past two decades, the Detroit Regional Chamber has rallied support around key policy and legislative efforts to improve education. With one of the most respected advocacy programs in the state, the Chamber continues to advocate for policies to help ensure Michigan has the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the 21st century economy. Its efforts continue to focus around early childhood education, k-12 curriculum, and workforce development.

2021 Legislative Education Priorities

  • Maintain rigorous K-12 standards that allow students to succeed in the global economy.
  • Create greater accountability for quality and siting in charter schools.
  • Increase postsecondary education attainment through policies such as increased dual enrollment and Michigan Reconnect and MI Opportunity.

Early Childhood Education

FUNDING

Supported then-Governor Rick Snyder’s effort to increase early child education by $100 million annually, which included a $65 million expansion in 2013-14.

LITERACY

Advocated for current third-grade reading law to help ensure all students could read before advancing to the fourth grade as reading sets the foundation for the rest of the student’s academic journey.

EQUITY FUNDING

Supports Launch Michigan’s efforts to create an equity fund derived through a formula with poverty and geographic isolation multipliers based on student needs regardless of governance or the school they attend.


K-12 Curriculum and Charter Accountability

SCHOOL CHOICE AND SITING STANDARDS

Supporter of school choice, including public charter schools, that include rigorous standards to ensure accountability and ensure all students have access to a quality education.

ASSESSMENTS

Supported the creation of the M-STEP, the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, which aligned Michigan with most other states in measuring student achievement.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Rallied support to implement Michigan’s best-in-class graduation requirements and remains a staunch advocate of keeping the Merit Curriculum in place.


Higher and Adult Education

PROMISE SCHOLARSHIPS

Supported then-Governor Rick Snyder’s 2011 call for a tuition-free path to an associate degree for residents of the city of Detroit through the Detroit Promise Scholarship and the expansion of the program to include four-year route to bachelor’s degrees. Currently supports Governor Whitmer’s proposed MI Opportunity Scholarship which would provide a two-year, tuition-free path to an associate’s degree statewide.

UPSKILLING AND RETURNING TO SCHOOL

Successfully advocated for funding the state’s workforce development program Michigan Reconnect, which along with Going PRO Talent Fund, received nearly $60 million in the state’s 2021 budget.

FUTURES FOR FRONTLINERS

Supports Governor Whitmer’s scholarship program providing tuition-free access to an estimated 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential, frontline services during COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders from April to June of 2020.