Friday, May 6, 2016

State House Burns Detroit Schools in Middle of Night Session

While we were sleeping, the State House Republicans pushed through some awful legislation that burns the Detroit schools. (In case you are wondering, the State Senate legislation is better, although in my opinion it is not better enough. But it is bipartisan.)

Pushed through. At 4:30 in the morning. That's a great time for decision-making, right?

Phone lines are open: Feel free to call House Speaker Kevin Cotter and give him a piece of your mind. Phone: 517-373-1789; Email: 

The point, people, is that we would never. ever. ever. accept what they are doing to the Detroit Schools as equitable or just or reasonable or in the students' interests in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Okemos, East Grand Rapids...OR EVEN IN schools with a higher percentage of students of color like Southfield or Ypsilanti. 

Never. Ever. And that's because it's not equitable, just, reasonable, or in the students' interests.

[For instance--would we accept saying that all of the teachers have to apply for their jobs back, no guarantees, no union, and if they don't get them back, or don't apply, we can bring in uncertified teachers to teach our kids? I don't think so.]

And it's the same shameful thinking--death of a thousand cuts--that brings us the Flint lead crisis.

Which--in an educational sense--we will be paying for, for many years, because kids with lead poisoning will need special education services, which are mandated. [And by the way, a little shout out to all the Washtenaw County voters who said yes to the special education millage. Totally off topic, but...phew! We needed that.] Back to Detroit, where the schools probably need that money more.

What we can be proud of, folks, is the House Democratic caucus. There were some outstanding speeches. I am just sorry that some folks are either too thick skulled or too "in the pocket" of special interests (yes, I'm talking about the DeVos family agenda) to listen.

But do listen to the speeches:

Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of Detroit, and former DPS teacher:

"The package today builds on that foundation of institutional racism."

Rep. Sam Singh of East Lansing:

"Just because you say it's about the kids, doesn't mean it's about the kids."

Rep. Adam Zemke of Ann Arbor:

From his Facebook post:  
In the middle of the night, House Republicans rammed through a partisan package of bills created specifically to set Detroit Public Schools down a path of continued systemic financial and academic inadequacy. 
This package is intentionally designed to provide inadequate debt service toDPS, to incorporate uncertified teachers in their classrooms and to allow the continued proliferation of unchecked, low-quality schools in the City of Detroit. 
It's despicable, low-down and dirty politics to satisfy the sick desires of one family on the west side of the state. The House Republican's plan reflects that they are bought and paid for.

Last, but not least--

Seth Meyers, of Late Night with Seth Meyers, stands with Detroit teachers:

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1 comment:

  1. Ruth, your outrage is palpable - and justified. I hope the results in November will show that the citizens of our fair state are more thoughtful and humane than the current legislative majority have shown themselves to be.