This month Michigan voters repealed the state's far-reaching emergency manager law, saying that struggling towns, cities and school boards should be allowed to keep their democracies despite being broke. Now a new round of legislation in Michigan would allow the state to take over struggling school districts and farm out education to private companies.
Eclectablog has the full roundup of who's saying what and when, including this call to action from the schools superintendent in Bloomfield Hills:
- This bill will not directly affect our district, but disenfranchises voters, ends their local control, and unconstitutionally hands taxpayer-owned property over to for-profit companies. Characterized as parent-empowerment, this bill does little to develop deep, community-wide parent engagement and organization.
I've never considered myself a conspiracy theorist -- until now. This package of bills is the latest in a yearlong barrage of ideologically-driven bills designed to weaken and defund locally-controlled public education, handing scarce taxpayer dollars over to for-profit entities operating under a different set of rules. I believe this is fundamentally wrong.
That superintendent has company. At a public forum this week, Oakland Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie L. Markavitch called what's happening in the state capitol "unbelievable" and way too rushed. "There is really important work that has to be done," she told the parents there, according to the local Patch. "What's worrying me about this work that has to be done is it's being pushed forward so quickly, so fast and in such a rushed order that it's almost faster than people can learn about it."