Could a $2.5 Million Budget Item Erode Michigan’s Ban on Private School Vouchers?

Should private schools get taxpayer dollars — even if its to pay for things the state forces them to do?

The courts could soon decide whether private and parochial schools in Michigan can receive $2.5 million in public tax dollars.

State lawmakers put the money in the budget last year to reimburse private schools for things the state forces them to do, such as fire drills. But public school groups are suing. They say the money violates Michigan’s constitutional ban on school vouchers.

WDET’s Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio’s Cheyna Roth talk about why this case could end up being a big deal for education in Michigan.

“While this case might seem small… case law is kind of created through little cases, ultimately making big changes,” says Roth. “Depending on what the judge says, it could potentially open the door for more money going to private schools, more money being distributed in different ways.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.