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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:04 PM


NEEDED: A Million Michigan Voices for Public Education

Folks, this is a CRITICAL alert to let you all know about what the Republican led Legislature and Governor of Michigan are doing to the taxpayers in Michigan. The following bills are in play and they are expecting to pass them before the end of the year. I want to STRESS--at the present time there is a virtual lock down on the news regarding what these bills REALLY mean.

a) The Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) bill (HB 6004/SB 1358)

b) The Selective Enrollment Schools bill (HB 5923)

c) The Parent Trigger bill (SB 620)

This is no joke. What these three bills do is:

1. There is no local control of schools per these bills. NONE. ALL of Michigan's schools will be presided over by a 5 person board that is appointed by the Governor of the state
2. As stated, there is only State control-elected school board, even is they exist, will not be worth the paper they are printed on
3. Citizens will still be required to pay the property taxes that will be funneled into corporate and state controlled schools
4. The state can claim essentially Eminent Domain of any school in any area and GIVE it to a corporate run school
5. The so called public Charter schools can determine their enrollments by race, grade achievement or for any other purpose. These bills terminate Free and Appropriate Public Education for ALL, or FAPE.
6. The so called public Charter schools are exempt from the state testing and all forms of teacher evaluations as currently imposed on public schools by the state
7. There are no sanctions against so called Charter schools for failing graduation rates, for failing schools and for poor attendance by students
8. There is no plan of oversight for the online HS programs-meaning-any kid anywhere can cheat
9. So called Charter schools can refuse to admit or educate special needs students-a direct violation of IDEA
10. So called public schools are permitted to charge tuition
11. So called public schools are to be paid more in state money for taking in foreign students-meaning we pay the tax dollars to educate foreign students
12. Dual enrollment has been expanded. Meaning-can't afford your own kid's college, don't worry, now you can pay for some foreign kid and their AYP or College level courses
13. There is no requirement for the Arts in the so called public Charter schools
14. Any student can attend any school, their dollars go with them. There is no funding plan in place for this.

Pay attention. You are underwriting the corporate schools with your tax dollars. There is NO mention in these bills about failing schools. This is a power play to take, not give.

If you live in Michigan, and even if you don't, contact your legislator NOW.


10 replies, 1403 views

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Reply NEEDED: A Million Michigan Voices for Public Education (Original post)
MichiganVote Nov 2012 OP
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #1
MichiganVote Nov 2012 #3
JNelson6563 Nov 2012 #2
demmiblue Nov 2012 #4
FightForMichigan Nov 2012 #5
MichiganVote Nov 2012 #6
FightForMichigan Nov 2012 #7
MichiganVote Nov 2012 #8
FightForMichigan Nov 2012 #9
MichiganVote Nov 2012 #10

Response to MichiganVote (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:34 PM

1. k&r

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 06:00 PM

3. Thanks


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Response to MichiganVote (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:36 PM

2. Very important! K&R

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Response to MichiganVote (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 06:02 PM

4. K&R!

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Response to MichiganVote (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 06:11 PM

5. Whoa, hold on

First, I hate these bills. They're wrong for our kids and wrong for Michigan. But some of the messaging here is off. Let me try to straighten some of it out.

Under this package:

1) The bottom 5 percent of the schools in the state would fall under the authority of the Education Achievement Authority, a group of people hand-picked by the governor (The OP says all schools in the state, which isn't accurate)

2) The EAA would have the ability to hand over these schools to for-profit charter school companies to manage. Effectively, taxpayer money would be funneled into corporations.

3) EAA schools will not be subject to locally elected school boards. This means that parents, teachers and elected school board officials will have no influence over curriculum, personnel matters or the use of resources in these buildings.

4) The EAA can void contracts, including labor contracts, in these schools.

5) Teachers in EAA schools will not accrue pension credits while their school building is under the EAA. Obviously, most teachers will do all they can to leave schools where they have neither the benefit of labor contracts or pensions, so expect a flood of good teachers out of troubled schools.

6) School districts that have an EAA-operated school in its territory would be required to maintain unused school buildings in the event the EAA wants to turn one of them into a charter school. This will be a significant expense to school districts that are already struggling.

7) Another bill in this package would set up a back-door to a school voucher system, allowing taxpayer money to flow with a student who enrolls in a cyber or charter school. This will accelerate the loss of resources in troubled schools, making them more likely to fall under the EAA system and be converted to a charter school.

8) This expansion of the EAA is being rushed even though schools under the EAA system in Detroit have been shown to lack basic supplies, such as books, and even though their classrooms contain as many as 60 students.

Like I said, don't get me wrong -these bills are horrible. But it's important to know what they do and what they don't do.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:07 PM

6. Couple of things and I will break this into two posts


EAA removes accountability to the taxpayers for any school. This bill is a shell game.

"At its core, this legislation creates an Education Achievement Authority (EAA) to run the state’s redesign district, an entity that was originally created in the Race to the Top legislation to manage the bottom 5 percent of schools in the state. However, the scope of power ceded to the EAA under this proposal far exceeds that single purpose."

"The legislation lays the groundwork for the EAA to be the statewide charter authorizer for New Forms of Schools that would be created if HB 5923 were to pass."

In other words, EAA is being promoted as a tool to target the so called lowest 5%, but the way in which the bill is written gives it power to expand well beyond a 5% margin.




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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:17 PM

7. Yes, correct

And a reason to go all out against these bills. But the OP made it sound like they would render all school boards powerless overnight, and that's not the case.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:23 PM

8. So some more details about the EAA


The House Education Committee met and heard testimony for 3.5 hours on November 13 – reportedly only for those in support of the bill. Governor Snyder’s lead policy person Bill Rustem started off testimony with the Chancellor of the EAA, John Covington. Three students that are part of the EAA testified on behalf of the EAA; then two parents; then a set of four teachers followed by one more teacher – who testified on her experience in Kansas City. Many claims were made that normally would take most organizations in any industry longer than one year. Three members of the State Board of Education testified, who while not completely opposed to the bill, raised concerns many have.

These are some of the concerns that arose out of that "hearing" of EAA and the corresponding bills:

-The EAA can be much broader than the bottom 5% of schools. In fact, since they exclude participation in state standardized tests AND only the chancellor determines when they have made progress, it is quite possible that they can expand to eventually encompass many schools in Michigan.

-The Chancellor did not articulate how they were governed – now or in the future (although this is part of the bill he was there to testify on behalf of).

-The Chancellor did not articulate how they were funded

-Neither the Chancellor, or Bill Restum – could or would declare what would happen to a school that failed to make progress after 3 years.

-The EAA can take over all assets of a school without the approval of the local school board.

-The EAA can incur debt and liabilities.

-The EAA is not liable for any debt or liabilities. The Chancellor specifically had no idea what would happen to the debt.

-The EAA can sell buildings without the local school board’s permission.

-All ILA (Inter-Local Agreements; i.e., relationship with the local school boards) will go away with this bill.
No one has articulated how the EAA’s authority related to the mass amount of reform bills that were passed recently under the School Reform Officer. It was clear no one had considered this relationship.

-Since the EAA schools will not participate in any standardized testing, they will be ineligible for any federal funding, including IDEA grant funding, which is hundreds of millions of dollars annually in Michigan. Neither the Chancellor or Bill Restum provided information about that.

-The kind of authority described in this bill is very similar to the Emergency Financial Manager’s authority, which was just rejected by voters on November 6th. Voucher education has also been rejected by Michigan voters twice.

-There are no ties to quality control or expectations for student performance in this bill. Some of the methods currently used to assess AYP will not be applicable to EAA schools, since they will not be participating in the MEAP.

-The Chancellor has broad authority to appoint CEOs to manage parts of their scope of work. This is seen as a way to bring in for profit companies to manage areas. The Chancellor did admit that for-profit companies could manage schools (such as charter school companies); he had no idea what their profit margins were.

-The EAA has no history of improving student performance, having been in existence since Oct. 1 2012

-The EAA has plans to expand to at least the following: Flint, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Port Huron and Southfield. The expansion is being funded by a $35M ‘grant’ from the state. Translation: Public School Aid Fund

-There will be no role or purview for the State Board of Education or the Michigan Department of Education in the EAA.

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:38 PM

9. thanks for this

I agree people need to get up in arms over this. Thanks for providing the additional information.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:48 PM

10. Welcome


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