School groups weigh in on Proposal 2

 

Proposal 2--the constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining rights and working families--lately has been the target of outrageous lies meant to scare voters into rejecting the proposal. The State Board of Education has joined the outrage over the latest ad by Protecting Michigan Taxpayers which completely misrepresents Proposal 2. 
 
After linking passage of Proposal 2 to an outbreak of teacher strikes like the one in Chicago, opponents are now falsely claiming that when Proposal 2 passes, employees with criminal backgrounds will have free reign in the classroom and school bus drivers will be endangering students since safety standards will be removed. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
 
Now, State Board of Education members are joining the Protect Working Families campaign in demanding the ad be pulled from the air.
 
John Austin, State Board of Education President, blasted the ad, “We entrust our teachers and school personnel with the care and education of our children every day. This ad repugnantly suggests our teachers would negotiate away the safety of school children. Those claims have no credibility.”
 
The premise that Proposal 2 would put students at risk is blatantly false.
 
All current teachers and newly-hired teachers undergo background checks by the FBI. Michigan’s Pupil Protection Act requires the Superintendent to be notified if any employee is accused of a crime. Proposal 2 won’t change that.
 
Federal and state laws make it clear that labor organizations can’t bargain away the licensing requirements and safety standards for bus drivers. Again, Proposal 2 won’t change that.
 
What Proposal 2 can change is the playing field that up until now has favored Republican legislators who continually attack public school employees. 
 
Joining Protecting Michigan Taxpayers in their opposition to Proposal 2 are the Michigan Association of School Boards, the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators and the Michigan School Business Officials. Much of the opposition to Proposal 2 is being financed by special interest groups with deep pockets and an anti-worker agenda. 
 
We know what Proposal 2 would do--improve education by giving back to school employees their voice in the quality of education Michigan students receive.