One proposal which has qualified for the November ballot is the so-called K-16 initiative. It would mandate increasing spending by the inflation rate for government schools and colleges.
The WMU College Republicans oppose this initiative. It is a dangerous measure that would have many unforeseen consequences.
Everyone wants to improve education. However, is increasing spending the way to do it? There is no evidence supporting this notion. In fact, since the 1970s, education spending has roughly doubled (adjusted for inflation), while performance has remained about the same.
The problem is not that schools don’t have enough money. The problem is that they don’t wisely use the money that they have. Schools don’t need more spending, they need more effective spending.
Government schools regularly misuse money. For example, WMU gives $6500 per semester scholarships specifically for illegal aliens, so that they pay the equivalent of in-state tuition. Western also has pledged to give free room and board to full-ride Kalamazoo Promise scholarship recipients who already live in Kalamazoo.
Government schools need to be held accountable so that they will not waste your money. But mandating spending will make them even less accountable. If spending increases are guaranteed every year, what reason do schools and colleges have to spend money wisely? If the K-16 initiative passes, we can expect even more spending on education fads and liberal propaganda that disserve students.
Where would the money for more spending come from? There are only two possibilities. The first is significant tax increases. The second is cuts in state spending in other areas, including road construction. The legislature should have the flexibility to decide whether spending increases or cuts are necessary in response to changing economic circumstances.
The K-16 initiative would be a disaster for both students and taxpayers. We urge you to oppose it in November.