Business Leaders for Michigan backs reversal of higher ed 'disinvestment' in Gov. Snyder budget
Business Leaders for Michigan — a statewide organization dedicated to rebuilding the state’s economy — has praised Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget recommendations that would increase funding for early childhood education and higher education, as well as balance the budget and reduce the state’s long-standing debt obligations.
BLM President and CEO Doug Rothwell said the group applauds the governor for "continuing his commitment to getting Michigan’s fiscal house in order and addressing the long-standing debt obligations that have beleaguered our state. Getting our state on a strong fiscal footing is critical to a full economic recovery and an essential part of the Michigan Turnaround Plan.”
“Studies show that children who participate in a good preschool experience have more success in life,” Rothwell said. “We want every child to enter kindergarten ready to succeed, yet many of our children today are playing catch-up. If we invest on the front end, they will do better in school and have better opportunities down the road.”
Rothwell also commented favorably on the recommendations for higher education, noting that, for the second year in a row, Snyder has proposed increases in higher education based on performance.
“We appreciate that the state has begun to reverse the decade of disinvestment in our colleges and universities," Rothwell said. "Investments in higher education contribute directly to our children and the state’s success. The changing global economy puts a premium on college graduates, and Michigan is currently looking at a talent shortage of 900,000 graduates by 2020.”
Rothwell said making college more affordable "will take a substantial long-term commitment" and include increasing the number of college graduates in Michigan and providing incentives to the state’s colleges and universities to "perform better than their peers."
“As the state’s fiscal health continues to return, it is critical we move even faster to boost state investments in areas that will promote future growth, such as higher education,” he said.