Superintendent of Schools Cormac Lynn released the following statement regarding the Let MI Kids Learn petition drive on Jan. 12.
January 12, 2023
Dear Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Community,
In March of 2022, I first wrote to you regarding the Let MI Kids Learn (LMKL) petition drive. I recently received an update from the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) and Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS) on this matter. In short, due to the shifting balance of power as a result of the recent elections in the state legislature, Let MI Kids Learn has decided to withdraw the two petitions, essentially bringing this process to a close.
Timeline: (information taken from MANS update)
- LMKL opted not to submit the petitions by the original deadline to ensure that enough valid signatures were collected. Over the summer, LMKL submitted enough valid signatures to allow the legislature to enact the Education Savings Accounts (ESA) as well as the tax credit.
- The delay in submission created a larger time window for the Secretary of State to certify the signatures (June 2024).
- Over the last month (Dec. 2022) the attorney for LMKL has requested the Secretary of State to certify the results. The Secretary of State appears to have delayed certification to get past the election, where control of the legislature has shifted from the Republican party to the Democrat party. The most likely scenario at this point is that the legislature would not pass the legislation, and the proposal would have been placed on the November 2024 ballot.
- An election campaign would require tens of millions of dollars. Unfortunately, these issues have not passed when placed before the voters in other states, as it is easy for the opposition to paint these proposals as a threat to funding for traditional districts. Additionally, since there would be no ESA program in place, no family would face the loss of a benefit, which would have encouraged votes to maintain ESA’s. Therefore, though millions of dollars could be spent, history in Michigan and in states across the country made clear the chance for success would be extremely unlikely. Defeat of such an effort at the ballot box would certainly be a setback for educational reform.
- Accordingly, the LMKL campaign came to the unfortunate but unavoidable conclusion that the wisest path was to withdraw the two petitions.
I am grateful for the support of our parishes, schools and community members related to this effort. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Thank you for supporting Catholic education.
Superintendent of Schools
989-797-6651 (office) 989-860-6567 (cell)