My friend Sascha Matish (who is also a co-chair of the Ann Arbor Open Coordinating Council) wrote me an email that was so clear that I asked her if we could turn it into a blog post. Lucky for the rest of you, she agreed. Here it is:
I keep thinking (yet not saying out loud) that this has to be as bad as it is going to get.
I am going to stop thinking that now.
I may be a little off, but here is how it seems to have played out:
1. Cut K-12 funding.
2. Vilify teachers and enact drastic changes to how their unions can represent them and receive dues/fees from their members, in an attempt to weaken teachers’ unions.
3. Radically change the Emergency Financial Manager
4. Cut K-12 funding again.
5. Allow for an increase in the number of charter schools.
6. Pass “right to work” legislation in an attempt to completely disable the unions that will fight against steps 1 through 5.
7. Cut K-12 funding some more.8. Don't do anything to address the increasing financial burden to school districts caused by the pension system for public school employees.
9. Create a work group (after the secret group was outed) to study the feasibility of "increased efficiencies" for K-12 education, including online education from for-profit companies not located in Michigan, and $5,000/pupil "value schools." Remind the public that “increased efficiencies” are needed,
10. Divert HUGE sums of money from K-12 education so we can fix roads that arebadly in need of repair, because that is where the money for road improvements should come from (sarcasm added).
Here is what I suspect the next step will be: Tell the public we have no choice but to follow through on the recommendations of the work group in step 9, on a large scale, in order to address our financial woes and our "failing schools," many of which are failing because the state decided to stop funding them.
I am beginning to think that Snyder planned this all along. There does not appear to be a way to stop him right now. Until Democrats get control of the state House or Senate, I don't know how we can. And, for a true believer in the public school system, that is what is so scary.
Readers: Do you agree with Sascha that "I am beginning to think that Snyder planned this all along. There does not appear to be a way to stop him right now." Do you think there is a way to stop these shenanigans?