In 2017, Michigan passed the largest School Aid Fund budget in state history. Thomas was proud to support a budget that puts great emphasis on supporting our next generation. On a regular basis, Thomas meets with local school district leaders to discuss education policy and how it will impact the 86th District.
Thomas spent much of his first term in office working to ensure Michigan will have sustainable education funding into the future. Through Bold Leadership and Proven Results he led reforms to address $40 billion dollars of public school education pension debt. In July of 2017, this legislation was signed into law. His reform included an enhanced defined contribution plan for new teachers and an optional hybrid pension plan where the employee shares financial risk with the Michigan taxpayer. Thomas also introduced separate legislation to fix the broken plan for paying off $40 billion of public school pension debt by 2038. Without adequate education funding going forward our future generation will not have the resources needed to be successful. His work will ensure that the state is putting more money in the classroom in years to come.
Thomas has also introduced a bill to reign in excessive federal student loan debt. The Project on Student Debt, found that 63% of 2016 graduates in Michigan graduated with student debt, and that the average debt was $30,852. This bill requires universities to annually disclose to students the amount of debt borrowed, estimated monthly repayment amount, and resources to employment prospects in areas of study.