It’s only been a few weeks since off-kilter millionaire Perry Johnson became the latest Republican to join the crowded and messy gubernatorial primary, but he’s already communicated to Michiganders that he’s “not interested in the same things” as them – such as a robust public education system that keeps students, parents, and educators first.

Johnson used his campaign kickoff speech to argue that Michigan should remove “all barriers” to implementing a charter school system, a DeVos-style agenda that would dismantle public education as we know it.

Meanwhile, for the 2023 fiscal year, Governor Whitmer has proposed a multibillion dollar investment in public education – the largest state investment in schools in decades – that includes a significant increase in the per-student grant each individual school district receives along with pay raises for educators and school personnel.

And last year, she secured a bipartisan $17.1 billion dollar public education budget that completely closed a decades-long state funding gap between school districts, and made the “largest investment in PreK-12 schools in state history” — all without raising taxes.

To ensure those inequality gaps don’t once again broaden, Whitmer recently vetoed “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan” that could have reduced state investment in education by upwards of $500 million annually. She also vetoed a  $155 million voucher program last July.

MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“Add public education to the growing list of interests millionaire Perry Johnson does not share with Michiganders. Like the handful of Republicans that have even bothered to speak on this critical issue, Johnson is just as happy to dismantle our public schools. Our students, educators, and parents deserve better. That’s why Governor Whitmer has worked with anyone to keep them first by closing decades-long funding gaps, all without raising taxes.”

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