In Press Release


News from AFT Michigan

February 9, 2022

Contact: David Hecker,

Proposed Education Budget Would Be A Win for Public Schools

AFT Michigan applauds Gov. Whitmer’s continued efforts to support students, educators

MICHIGAN – On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her proposed budget for 2022, which includes an historic investment in public education. Among other things, this budget would create retention bonuses for educators, provide funding to pay student teachers, fund physical and mental health services to better meet students’ needs, and invest in affordable higher education. The following response can be attributed to David Hecker, president of AFT Michigan:

“Governor Whitmer is taking important steps to support both K-12 public schools and higher education across the state. This proposed budget would be the biggest education funding increase in 20 years and would move our state closer to funding equity. These changes are critical to ensure every student, no matter who they are or where they live, can receive a quality education.

We’re encouraged to see specific proposals within the budget to increase both mental and physical health services in schools. AFT Michigan has been vocal about the need to support students as whole people and care for their needs both in and outside of the classroom, and these additional resources will help schools do exactly that.

Additionally, this budget proposal will help us continue to work toward affordable higher education for all students, with increased funding for public colleges and universities, as well as scholarship opportunities to help ensure everyone is able to pursue their passions.

Of course, as a union of educators, we are also grateful to have a governor who recognizes the need to ensure teachers and staff are paid fairly and treated with respect. From creating retention bonuses to ensuring students teachers receive a fair wage for their work, this budget proposal will help better the lives of educators and begin to address Michigan’s teacher shortage.

Over the past few years, Gov. Whitmer has been the leader students and educators need in the governor’s office, and this budget proposal is no different. We commend the governor for her dedication to public education, and we urge our lawmakers to work with her to make this proposed budget a reality.”


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