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This week in Michigan politics: Roads and education

a classroom of empty colorful chairs
Flickr user Frank Juarez
Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Cuts are in the works for Michigan's K-12 public schools.

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss roads funding in the final days before lawmakers leave for the summer, theexpansion of the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship and why Detroit ismissing out on Head Start next year.

Road funding

State lawmakers have just two more days of session until their planned summer break, and road funding is still on the table.

Lessenberry says lawmakers are leaning toward raising the wholesale gas tax, but giving voters an option to replace or supplement that plan by voting to increase the sales tax.

Kalamazoo expands scholarship program

Officials with the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship announced yesterday the program will expand to private schools. The program provides money for college tuition to students in the Kalamazoo Public Schools system. Students can get a full ride if they've been in KPS since kindergarten. But only around 20% of the students who get the grants actually complete a degree.

Lessenberry says those numbers are baffling and might be deceiving. But he says the expansion of colleges included in the program is good news.

“Given the cost of education, anything that helps people getting an education easier is a good thing.”

Detroit misses out on Head Start

About 1,000 Detroit kids won't be able to go to Head Start next year. That’s because district officials didn’t complete the application in time.

“It’s impossible to know how you could exaggerate how awful this is,” Lessenberry says.

Lessenberry says the district is claiming technical difficulties.

“Everyone else in the country seemed to know how to do it and oddly enough they (DPS) don’t seem to be very outraged,” Lessenberry says.

Christina began her career in radio at Michigan Radio while a student at the University of Michigan. She was a producer and researcher for The Todd Mundt Show, and then hosted Weekend Edition.
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