Proposed Legislation Will Have Devastating Effects – Take Action Today!

Proposed Legislation Will Have Devastating Effects – Take Action Today!

Dear community member,
– 26 consecutive years of increased enrollment
– Graduation rate up 6%
– Five schools in Dearborn recognized by the state as “Beating the Odds”
– Continuous improvement on local and state tests
– A five year program allowing students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two year college degree at no cost to parents
– Students earning millions of dollars in scholarships each year
– Districtwide Response to Bullying and Positive Behavior programs ensure a safe learning environment
– Choices for students include magnet programs, Early College program, STEM program, AP courses, and dual enrollment

Download :  Support Material.pdf

Does this sound like a school district that needs to be overhauled, reformed, and taken-over by a state controlled board? I don’t think so, but obviously some legislators in Lansing do.


If two bills, HB 6004 and SB 1358, currently sitting before lawmakers in Lansing are passed in the next few weeks school districts in the state could face drastic change that will have a devastating impact on your child’s school.
These bills shift control away from local school board trustees that you elect and give a great deal of power to a single statewide school district known as the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) that is accountable only to a board appointed by the Governor, not elected by the people.
Even more troubling about these proposed changes is that the important job of educating children will be turned over to for-profit operators who can pick and choose the children they want to allow into their schools.
We are fortunate that our representatives in Lansing, Mr. George Darany, Mr. David Nathan, and Senator Morris Hood, understand how wrong these proposals are and they need our support. We need to contact our representatives in Lansing and let them know that HB6004 and SB1358 must not be approved. It is vitally important that we take action now to make sure these bills are not passed before the legislators leave for the year.

It is important to share your own personal concerns about this legislation. On our district website we have placed key points that you may want to include in your correspondence and we have provided names and addresses of our legislators. You can find out more information on this legislation by visiting www.miparentsforschools.org.

Despite the many challenges we face, our district has made a great deal of progress and has had plenty of student success. This success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our staff. I want to thank all of our staff members and our parents for making student achievement a priority and believing that each child can have academic success in our classrooms. We are also very fortunate to have a supportive and knowledgeable Board of Education that understands the needs of the children in our schools. I urge you to take action today and make sure that this legislation is not passed!
Regards,
Brian J. Whiston
Superintendent

Additional Information:

Sweeping changes are being proposed for Michigan public schools. Consider the following points as you discuss these changes with others.

Talking Points: House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358

• These changes take the power away from elected school board officials and move the power to the Governor. This means our school board, which has made decisions that have kept us financially solvent and able to offer quality programming, would no longer have as much of a say in what happens to our tax dollars.

• Public schools have been inadequately funded for several years now. These proposals don’t address our financial concerns, and further erode our financial base.

• No information has been provided on the research being used to support these changes.

• With no local oversight and no local accountability, school districts can’t guarantee that the proper materials and instruction are given to students to help them succeed beyond their high school education.

• This isn’t about improving education for kids; it’s about seizing buildings since the EAA doesn’t take charge of the children’s education, just the building.

• The language allowing the EAA to force the lease or sale of unused school buildings is an unconstitutional taking of local school property (which was paid for by local taxpayers).

• There are no quality measures or components in this legislation. A quality component is necessary both for any failing schools taken over by the EAA and for any charter schools authorized by the EAA.

• This bill goes way beyond addressing the issues in the Detroit public school system. It is part of a package of bills that seek to create a very powerful statewide school with the authority to authorize an unlimited number of charter schools and seize local school property.

• Not only would this district not be governed by any local elections, it would operate without any oversight from the Michigan Department of Education – and your tax dollars would be sent to this new super-district without any approval from your elected representatives.

• Under this plan, this new school district will be able to open schools anywhere it wants in the state, not just where there are failing schools. The bills even say that your home district must sell some of the buildings your community owns to this new district if it wants to operate a school there.

• But the absolute worst part of the plan is that some of these schools will be managed by for-profit operators and even corporations, and only some of our state’s students will be allowed to attend some of these schools.
Suggestion for Letter to State Representative and State Senator (Long Version)

Dear Senator/Representative:

I appreciate your efforts to support quality education in Dearborn. As a member of the Dearborn community I am asking you to stand strong in opposition to the plan that would create a single, statewide school district, the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), which is only accountable to a board appointed by the Governor.

Please share my letter of concern with your colleagues who may be in favor of this plan so they will understand how the citizens in this state truly feel about this dangerous and reckless proposal.

If this plan passes, this new district would be allowed to open schools in our community and your legislative district, without any approval from the local board, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), or the Legislature.

Proponents of the plan say they only intend to set up a district to help students in failing schools. However, this plan goes way beyond the problems of persistently low achieving schools and does nothing to limit the new district to only failing schools.

I’m also very troubled and concerned that this plan allows the EAA to force the lease or sale of property owned by the taxpayers of my school district to this new statewide district.

Furthermore, there are no quality measures or requirements in this legislation. While the instructional methods being used in the EAA may sound promising, there is no data to reliably judge whether it is successful enough to make the program statewide in scope.

Finally I have grave concerns that this plan allows for some of these new EAA schools to selectively enroll only those students they wish to take. Public education, paid for by the taxpayer, should be for all of our state’s children and not discriminate in this manner.

While I agree that helping all students and addressing the issues facing our state’s schools must be a priority, instead of some carelessly conceived plan I invite the Governor and all State Legislators to visit us in Dearborn and witness firsthand how a locally controlled district provides quality education for all children. Come and visit our classrooms and see how our teachers, administrators, and parents are making a difference in the lives of the children in our classrooms.

I respectfully and strongly request you oppose House Bill 6004, and Senate Bill 1358. I thank you for your continued support of the Dearborn Public Schools and the education of all children in the great state of Michigan.
Sincerely,

 

 

Suggestion for Letter To State Representative and State Senator (Short Version)
Dear Senator/Representative:

I appreciate your efforts to support quality education in Dearborn. I am writing to you today in regards to recent legislative proposals currently in the Michigan House and Senate, specifically HB 6004, and SB 1358.

I am asking that the local school board, along with local citizens, be allowed to continue to make decisions about educational philosophy and programming for its students. I am also asking that our legislature and governor avoid proposals that create more layers of government to solve pressing educational problems.

I respectfully and strongly request you oppose House Bill 6004, and Senate Bill 1358. I thank you for your continued support of the Dearborn Public Schools and the education of all children in the great state of Michigan.

Sincerely,

 

 

On-Line Petition
Sign an online petition to tell Governor Snyder that our schools should be focused on education, not profits!

www.learningnotearning.com

 

Contact Information 
Capwiz, for information on potential action from Lansing and legislative contacts, www.capwiz.com/tca4edu/mlm/signup

State Senators- For all state senators: P.O. Box 30036; Lansing, MI 48909-7536

State Representatives- For all representatives: P.O. Box 30014; Lansing, MI 48909-7514

State Legislators representing Dearborn:
George T. Darany
N 694 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
(517) 373-0847 GeorgeTDarany@house.mi.gov
David E. Nathan
N 690 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
(517) 373-3815 DavidNathan@house.mi.gov
Morris W. Hood III
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909

Office: 517-373-0990
Fax: 517-373-5338

Leave a Comment

Skip to toolbar