Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address from East Lansing High School, where her two daughters attend school.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in January that Whitmer would deliver the Democratic response to the annual address, which is scheduled for Tuesday night.
“Since day one, Governor Whitmer has rolled up her sleeves to get things done for the people of Michigan,” Speaker Pelosi said in a statement. “During her time in public service, she has led the charge to expand health care to hundreds of thousands of people, expand protections for hard-working middle-class families and ensure clean drinking water in our communities. Her decades of hard work on behalf of the people should serve as a model for our nation.”
East Lansing Public Schools Superintendent Dori Leyko said she looks “forward to hosting our guests and providing a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience to some of our students and staff.”
Whitmer recently delivered her State of the State address, which included the announcement of her plan to bypass Michigan’s controversial “Read by Grade Three” law. The law passed in 2016 and requires public schools to identify third-grade students who are more than one grade behind in reading as possible candidates for being held back a year.
The governor said she plans to partner with a number of local organizations to inform parents about exemptions to the law.
“The law is ill-informed and could have incredibly harmful impacts on children. What we’re trying to do is empower parents so that they can make informed choices on behalf of their kids,” Whitmer told Bridge Magazine.
According to a report from the Michigan Department of Education, 45 percent of third-graders were proficient in English Language Arts during the 2018-19 academic year. For 11th-graders, that figure was 55.3 percent.
In mathematics, 46.7 percent of third-graders and 36.3 percent of 11th-graders scored proficient.
“I’m honored to discuss the Democratic Party’s vision of action for our nation from East Lansing High School, where my daughters are learning and preparing for the future,” Whitmer said in a statement released Monday.
“Americans are good, hardworking people who expect our elected officials in the highest offices of government to work just as hard as we do every day,” she continued. “Democrats across the country have a plan to improve education, fix our infrastructure, expand and protect health care coverage, and build an economy that works for everyone. Our nation deserve this type of leadership, and we are ready to take action to get it done.”
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