MEA President: ‘Michigan kids deserve a world-class education – not a dime store diploma’
Statement in response to Detroit News story on Snyder administration’s secret ‘skunk works’ on cheap education and school vouchers
EAST LANSING, Mich., April 19, 2013 — The following can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook in response to the Detroit News’ story, “Education reform group forges voucher-like plan for Michigan”:
“This report that Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and corporate special interests are hatching a secret plan to bring school vouchers to Michigan is disturbing and infuriating. Such a plan would rob our kids of the resources they need and divert more taxpayer dollars into the pockets of rich CEOs.
“The members of this self-defined ‘skunk works’ come from the same political and corporate interests who pushed through a tax break for themselves that was paid for by a $1 billion cut to our children’s schools. Now they’re developing a secret plan to cheapen our kids' education and replace teachers with teleconferencing. Their skunk works moniker is very accurate – this plan truly stinks.
“Their goal to create so-called ‘value schools’ would spend less than half what we currently spend to educate a student, putting those remaining meager funds on debit cards for parents and students to purchase their learning – not unlike food stamps. Such schools would use long-distance video conferencing instead of qualified, professional teachers working with students.
“Snyder's secret group deliberately shut out input from educators in favor of information technology companies who stand to make money off this scheme. This is a direct attempt to undermine elected school boards, principals and school employees, and it's a slap in the face to teachers and education support professionals, who work tirelessly to educate our children every day.
“Rather than holding secret meetings with corporate special interests to concoct new school voucher schemes and value-meal education, Snyder should be making the proper funding of our kids' schools a top priority.
“Michigan kids deserve a world-class education – not a dime store diploma.”
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5566