EAST LANSING, Sept. 2, 2014 —The Michigan Education Association today launched a new Web video that highlights Gov. Rick Snyder’s and the Republican Legislature’s $1.8-billion tax break to corporate special interests – and what those cuts have done to Michigan students.
Some 20 years ago, Michigan enacted legislation creating charter schools, with the goal of creating unique, innovative educational opportunities for students across the state. In the 20 years since, that goal has been replaced with a different goal: corporate profit.
For years, education experts have been critical of Michigan’s charter school laws, which have led to the creation of an industry generating hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate profits and less than stellar academic results.
After years of crippling budget cuts to public education, the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder agreed to a small funding increase in the 2014-15 education budget. This increase, timed to coincide with the governor’s re-election campaign, seems more politically motivated than an act of generosity.
But a long record of deep cuts to public schools will not be erased with a miniscule election-year funding increase.
The June 22 edition of the Detroit Free Press began an extensive special report on charter schools in Michigan. "State of Charter Schools: After 2 Decades, Michigan Has Promises to Keep" is the result of a year-long investigation into what’s been going on since the first charter schools opened 20 years ago.
The violent fight between two students at Detroit’s Pershing High School captured on video a few weeks ago was shocking and terrifying. The termination and ultimate reinstatement of Tiffani Eaton, the teacher who tried to stop that fight, has sparked debate about classroom safety across the state.