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Michigan State Board of Education members voice concerns over MiLEAP

Concerns over shift in Michigan education funding
Concerns over shift in Michigan education funding 02:04

LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A shift in funding from the Michigan Department of Education to a new governmental department for Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential - also called MiLEAP - has board members concerned. 

"The funding that we're concerned about primarily is this $414 million that the governor's proposing come out of Michigan Department of Education and go to this MiLeap that she's created," said Tom McMillin, a member of the State Board of Education. "We've challenged the constitutionality of what she's doing in many respects because the Constitution is clear that the Michigan Department of Education and the state Board of Education is overall education in Michigan as far as programming."

MiLEAP was announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last July and got up and running late last year to bookend education in our state with more support. That means preschoolers and high school graduates will have more oversight from the executive branch than the current Michigan Department of Education.    

"I really don't like the consolidation of power and of money," McMillin said. "I know she wants to do a kind of cradle to grave, take care of everybody. The government's here. Big brother is going to take care of you. And I just prefer it to be, if there is going to be money and power, that we try to push it out of one organization and get it disseminated. I think it's better if it's not concentrated."

The governor's office referred CBS News Detroit to a statement from the director of MiLEAP, Michelle Richard, who said, "We're talking to partners across the state about how we can continue to strengthen learning from preschool through postsecondary together. This much is clear: we can't keep doing what we've always done and expect a better outcome." 

McMillin said he plans on introducing a resolution at the next State Board of Education Meeting to push back on the money transfers and plans on looking into legal action if that doesn't work. 

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