A message from Bishop Jeffrey J. Walsh & Dr. Erick Chittle, Interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools:
The parishes and schools of the Diocese of Gaylord are participating in a signature drive that could dramatically impact funding for our schools. This non-partisan effort is called Let MI Kids Learn (letmikidslearn.com).
If our efforts are successful, this law would provide tax credits for donors and create Student Opportunity Scholarships. Michigan children from low-income families, foster care families, or families that have children with special needs would qualify for a Student Opportunity Scholarship toward their out-of-pocket educational costs for tutoring, school supplies, computers and tuition, among other expenses.
For our Catholic schools, this could mean a significant increase in available funds for scholarships. It could increase available funding for certain programs or for the unique educational needs of individual students at both parochial and public schools.
How does it work? A business or individual who makes a contribution to a registered scholarship granting organization will receive a state tax credit. Low-income families can apply for grants to help pay for school-related expenses such as Catholic school tuition.
There is bi-partisan approval for these bills, and despite having been vetoed by the Governor of Michigan on November 5, 2021, they can be enacted into law only if the required 340,000 voter signatures can be secured and verified by June 1, 2022. The legislation is endorsed by the bishops of Michigan, by the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS), the Michigan Catholic Conference, and countless other individuals and groups dedicated to increasing educational opportunities for students.
Petition forms will be delivered to your parish or school by March 18, 2022, along with two clipboards that will assist the petition gathering. Included with the materials is a flyer regarding the proposal, two separate petition forms (one for each bill to be passed), and instructions on how to get signatures.
Please gather as many signatures as you can and drop the pre-addressed envelope in the mail or return to any Catholic school. Each person may only sign each petition once. The petitions must be returned intact by May 9, 2022. Please do not tear off the non-signature portion of the forms.
Critical materials that you will need for this petition drive can be located below. These resources include a bulletin notice and insert, promotional videos, instructions for the petition drive, and more.
Thank you for supporting this worthy endeavor that works for the common good of all school-aged children.
Petition Drive Instructions
Click for Parish Instructions
Click for Circulator Instructions
Background and Promotional Materials
Click for "Learn about the Proposal" Video
Click for Proposal Background Resources
Click for Parish and School Bulletin Blurb
Click for Parish and School Flyer/Bulletin Insert