"We still have neighborhood attendance zones, and most children in the USA attend traditional public schools", says Matthew Chingos of the Urban Institute.
Public school, supported by public funds, is obligated to educate any and all children that live within a district unless parents choose otherwise.
For his part, Pocan pointed out that the last expansion of the choice program resulted in three-fourths of the public money going to parents whose kids were already enrolled in the private schools they were getting vouchers for, and two-thirds went to families making over $100,000 a year.
The money would tend to benefit mostly students in urban areas such as Detroit, Pontiac and Flint. It also increases grants for charter schools. MI has one of the nation's largest number of charter schools.
And, she said that "with regard to this issue - which if you had any idea how much time it has chewn (sic) up internally for us, you would be amazed - but. because of that material change, with the new appropriation, we have found a way to address that particular issue". "It appears that it's created to be a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars to educate tomorrow's leaders".
Democrats are preparing to weaponize Trump's suggested budget cuts, which in addition to education target social services and environmental protection, in the 2018 midterm elections. "Instead of working cooperatively to improve our schools, this administration is playing politics with the future of our children". "Public school choice can not come at the expense of all public school families and students".
The administration's budget proposal includes money to expand school vouchers and charter schools, but also appears to cut some education funding.
Scott pointed to a 2014 Department of Education study estimating that it will cost $197 billion to "bring all public schools into good condition".
Promoting school choice has always been a pet issue of Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education. And students and their families can use several existing methods to transfer between public schools.
Many expected her speech to promote the use of tax credits to funnel public money into private schools as IN has done.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) asked DeVos if she would consider sending her own children to an underperforming charter school.
"I disagree that it undermines public education", said Kelly, R-Saginaw Township. "Let me be very clear".
But there may be a way for choice advocates to qualify federal aid for use in Michigan, McNeilly said.
"So as you develop your strategies", he said, "this is an area we're going to want to visit with you again because, again, we know this is a challenge for a lot of districts".
"They all should have that opportunity", DeVos said. "Is there any situation - would you say to Indiana, 'That school can not discriminate against LGBT students if you want to receive federal dollars, ' or would you say the state has flexibility in this situation?"
The decision comes after mounting pressure from members of Congress, including U.S. Sens. Those scholarships enable low- or middle-income children to attend private or charter schools, and the businesses or individuals who make the donation receive a tax credit in return.
Supporting Effective Instruction State grants would be eliminated, freeing up $2.3 billion. Her most recent comments drew ire as well, when she called school choice opponents "flat earthers" who have "chilled creativity" in schools.