Earlier this week, Michigan’s Flint Journal reported that Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst has been supporting Michigan GOP Rep. Paul Scott against a potential recall election. Altogether, StudentsFirst has spent and owed $70,000 of political spending on behalf of Scott.
This came as a shock to many, who viewed Rhee’s StudentsFirst as primarily a nonpartisan group dedicated to education reform. By spending tens of thousands of dollars defending Scott, StudentsFirst is drawing a decidedly political line. What’s more, Scott has been a vocal defender of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) economic and education policies, which have led to significant reductions in the state’s K-12 school aid.
Included among the budget that Snyder signed earlier this year was a whopping $300 million aid reduction to schools statewide. Additionally, there was a $100 million cut to aid to cities, which also serves to negatively impact schools.
It seems odd that an organization that says its goal is to “build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world” would spend so much money to defend a right-wing Republican who loyally helped his right-wing Republican governor take an axe to the statewide school budet.