DETROIT (FOX 2) - After Governor Gretchen Whitmer revealed her new budget proposal, she visited Detroit to meet with families and advocates of her plan to invest additional funds into education.
Whitmer’s 2025 budget proposal includes:
- $0 health premiums for children
- Free pre-K for every four-year-old in Michigan
- Tuition-free associate degrees or skills training for all high school graduates
"It actually helps parents, grandparents, aunts, nieces, uncles," said Mattie Morgan, who attended Whitmer's event at the Detroit Parent Network on Thursday. "They’ve made the funding available so that you won’t have to do it out of pocket."
Morgan says she believes in what Whitmer is proposing – the idea of pouring resources into early education will help countless Michigan children.
"This is making a difference," Whitmer said during her visit. "Making investments in our people is about the smartest thing we can do for our economy."
However, the effectiveness of her proposals has been questioned by Republicans, who are concerned about the possible impact on budgetary reserves.
Michigan has a $9B budget surplus as of January, according to the state budget director.
"Free community college for all – is this really the best investment of our tax dollars?" State Rep. Ann Bollin wrote to FOX 2. "We should be focused on improving student performance in our high schools and elementary schools, instead of putting people into two-year colleges to try to make up for learning loss during the COVID shutdowns."
Republican State Sen. Jim Runestad had similar concerns about what free community college for all could mean in practice.
"If it’s targeted, I have no problem with that. But this is not – it's across the board," Runestad said. "It doesn't matter if you’re a multimillionaire, you’re going to get a free education."