Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Makes a Visit to Traverse City

“I think she provides hope for our state,” said Paul Soma, Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer stopped at Traverse City Central High School to discuss her budget today. 

Around 300 people, including students, parents, staff and other community members gathered to not only hear the governor’s budget plan, but ask some questions too.

“The people of northern Michigan need to know why I’ve put what I did on the table and need to be an active part of this conversation,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, (D) Michigan.

Governor Whitmer says she wants to stop using education funds to fill potholes. She says this isn’t even fixing the roads, it’s just putting a band-aid over it.

“We have a chance to be bold. I put a solution on the table and I believe in it,” said Whitmer.

That solution?

The governor’s recently proposed 45 cent gas tax increase.

She says this is the only way to ensure funds are used to fix the roads and don’t end up anywhere else.

“If we don’t fix this road problem, they’re getting more dangerous and more expensive by the day. We’re short changing our kids and our water just to fill potholes and it is not right,” said Whitmer.

The governor also wants to see a $507 million budget in k-12 education funding.

It’s the biggest increase for education funding in 20 year and the TCAPS Superintendent, Paul Soma approves.

“I think her goals are right in the right spot. I think she’s got the goals set right. I think she’s identified the issues,” said Soma.

Just Thursday she announced the creation of an educator advisory council.

“Policies are passed through the legislature but they never get the input of people that are actually on the front line doing the work. They’re not talking to teachers and listening to administrators,” said Whitmer.

“I would love to be able to say that the students in TCAPS, whether they come from a disadvantage background or an advantaged background, have all the same opportunities as it relates to resource as the rest of the state,” said Soma.