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.
Politicians have ignored critics who have pointed out massive failings in both the law charters operate under and the schools themselves — until now. The charter school industry in Michigan is fraught with wasteful spending, conflicts of interest and poor academic performance. . .
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 foundation allowance increase varies by district from a low of 29 cents a day per student to about a dollar a day at the top end. This is hardly a windfall and doesn’t even keep pace with inflation.
Today, we have 50 school districts in deficit spending and facing financial collapse. A funding increase of a mere 29 cents a day will not change that. And it certainly won’t alleviate the financial strain on all school districts across the state — districts still coping with the $1 billion cut in funding Gov. Rick Snyder handed them in his first year in office.
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. Today, the charters spend almost $1 billion in state money—with little oversight--for the more than 140,000 students enrolled in charter schools.
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.
EAST LANSING, Mich., April 10, 2014 — The Michigan Education Association today announced the recipients of the 2014 MEA Scholarships honoring exemplary public school students from across the state who will be attending a Michigan public university next fall.
FARMINGTON/WARREN – A new online tool can help parents, educators, teachers, school staff and policymakers see exactly how much Gov. Rick Snyder’s school cuts continue to shortchange Michigan children in every school district, teachers in Oakland and Macomb counties said today. Dating to Snyder’s first year as governor in 2011, the cuts affect everything from classroom sizes, courses and programs, and basic supplies.
In his March 30 entry, “Great teachers have a great impact,” Dale Hansen, political blogger for the Detroit News, recognizes the impact great teachers have on everyone’s lives—from students, to colleagues, and to the community as a whole.
For some, it means college basketball’s biggest tournament. For many Michigan drivers, March Madness has meant dodging crater-sized potholes as our roads continue to deteriorate. But for Michigan school districts, March Madness has taken on a new meaning: the growing fear that money will run out before the year ends.
Last year saw the tip of the iceberg with Saginaw Buena Vista closing its doors three weeks early. This year, many other districts are teetering on the brink of financial collapse. Just like Michigan’s roads, Michigan’s school districts have been denied adequate funding to sustain themselves.
To see just how badly each district in the state has been hurt by Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders, the Michigan Education Association recently unveiled a new website, kidsnotceos.com. . .
Houghton Lake, Mich., March 7, 2014--Teachers in the Whittemore-Prescott school district recently agreed to significant wage reductions to keep schools open and prevent the district from going into deficit.