MCAN responds to education comments in Gov. Whitmer’s first State of the State Speech

The following statement is from Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), in response to comments about education delivered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her 2019 State of the State speech.

Feb. 13, 2019 - LANSING, MICH.“Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s inaugural State of the State address drew a crucial connection among Michigan’s talent pool, economic vitality and the need for postsecondary attainment. MCAN is thrilled not only with Gov. Whitmer’s ‘Blueprint’ to prioritize both K-12 and postsecondary education, but also with her bold vision of a 60 percent postsecondary attainment goal—a goal that aligns with MCAN’s agenda and aims to prepare Michigan’s residents for the jobs of tomorrow.

We applaud Gov. Whitmer’s efforts to make education a priority for all students by calling for investments in education to address the talent gap.  Affordability is a major barrier for Michigan families, and we believe the creation of the Michigan Opportunity Scholarship, which will provide a two-year debt-free pathway through Michigan’s community colleges or funding toward a four-year degree, will be an important stepping stone for students considering education beyond high school. We are also pleased she announced the ‘Michigan Reconnect’ program that will enable adults to earn a postsecondary credential valued in today’s labor market. 

The bottom line is simple: college should be accessible for all. Today’s students need a postsecondary credential to succeed in a 21st century economy. We stand ready to partner with the Governor, her administration, and the state Legislature to implement and support these important initiatives.”

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About Michigan College Access Network

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. For the seventh year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.4 percent in 2015. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.4 percent as of 2018. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

 

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