"It is not up to you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it."
(Rabbi Tarfon, Sayings of the Fathers)
Did You Already Write Your Legislators and the Governor?
[If not: Step 1 is to go to the Michigan Parents for Schools web site and use their nifty action alert system to contact them. Here is the link. It takes just a minute.]
If yes, then you may have already gotten a response from the Governor. A response that, as a friend of mine wrote to me, "didn't really answer any of the concerns I expressed about maintaining local input into schools and the possibility of profit motives undermining charter and other school 'reform.'" The letter just blathered on about wanting schools to be good (yes, we all want that) without making any note of the fact that the "Education Achievement Authority" (EAA) has absolutely no track record and may turn out to be a terrible program. (Sure--it could be great. That's what pilot programs are for--to prove that a program is worthy. However, according to MIPFS, "The EAA Chancellor, Dr. John Covington, argues that his system was tried successfully in his former district, Kansas City public schools. After his abrupt departure last year, the Kansas City schools lost their state accreditation, which gives us pause about the quality of the EAA's program.) [link]"
Bottom line: Taxpayers have the right to have input into schools. The Governor's children go to a very fine school in our fair county--Greenhills--but it is a) a private school with small class sizes; b) a not-for-profit school with a board of directors, and yes, parents have lots of input; and c) tuition is nearly $20,000, more than twice what the Ann Arbor schools get per pupil, and nearly three times what some other districts get. All I want is what he's got.
But I digress.
Here's the thing. No votes were taken today (even though both the Senate and House Education Committees met), but potentially votes may be taken tomorrow. We need to keep the pressure on.
Therefore, Let's Make Some Phone Calls
Steve Norton of Michigan Parents for Schools put out this email alert today, and it's useful because it has phone numbers. I don't think any of these legislators are in our county, but they are all on the House Education Committee and they will be voting on bills that affect us!
Action Alert To Public School Supporters!!! Please Forward!!!!
House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358 must be stopped, and we need your help to stop them!!!! The bills would create a Governor-controlled Education Achievement Authority (EAA) that would usurp our local control and kill public education as we know it. We should be focusing on proven quality education reform, not setting up a system of "haves" and "have nots" that will make all of our state's children one large experiment. The following representatives sit on the House Education Committee, and your phone call could sway them to oppose the EAA--please call and tell them to stop the experiment and VOTE NO ON HB 6004:
Rep. Thomas Hooker (Maj. VC) (517) 373-2277
Rep. Jon Bumstead (517) 373-7317
Rep. Hugh Crawford (517) 373-0827
Rep. Ray Franz (517) 373-0825
Rep. Kurt Heise (517) 373-3816
Rep. Aric Nesbitt (517) 373-0839
Rep. Margaret O'Brien (517) 373-1774
Rep. Amanda Price (517) 373-0838
Rep. Deb Shaughnessy (517) 373-0853
Rep. Ken Yonker (517) 373-0840