Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has announced two new grant programs which will help return driver's education classes to public high schools.

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Number of Teen Drivers in Michigan Declining

Michigan teens are putting off getting their driver's licenses in record numbers. The number of eligible teens who have obtained a license has fallen from 66% in 2000 to just 56% in 2021.

Many teens say they're delaying getting a license because they are too busy to learn and because of the high costs associated with learning to drive and owning and insuring a vehicle. Michigan's decline follows a trend being observed throughout the United States.

The cost associated with teens learning to drive is estimated to be about $650. (As the father of two teens who learned to drive about 10 years ago, I'll confirm that this is an accurate estimate.)

According to Bridge Magazine, cuts to driver's education program funding may be disproportionately affecting minority and low-income teens.

Grant Programs Announced to Assist Michigan Teens With Driver's Ed Funding

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced this week that two new grant programs will make driver's education more accessible to teenagers who are underrepresented.

The first grant will aim to cover the costs of the first two segments of driver's education classes and road testing teens who are working to obtain their licenses.

The second grant will assist public schools in Michigan that are looking to reinstate driver's education courses. This includes aid to schools looking to hire instructors and purchase driver's education vehicles.

There are currently only 38 schools in Michigan that provide driver's education programs.

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