SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:03 PM PST Update:
MICHIGAN: Spread the word on this NOW.
New Hyperbole? Hair on Fire? Sky is Falling? Absolutely. If you or anyone you know and care about live in Michigan, or if you care whatsoever about the public school system in this country--or, for that matter, education of our children in general--I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read up on Michigan State House Bills 6004 & 5923, and State Senate Bills 1358 & 620. If you think I'm over-hyping this issue, read the following letter, posted earlier today on the Bloomfield Hills School District website by superintendent Rob Glass.
I repeat: This was posted by the superintendent of the BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT. As in, one of the wealthiest and most Republican areas in Michigan. As in, Mitt Romney's home town, also the home town of Cranbrook. Believe me, Rob Glass is NOT known for panicking or over-hyping issues, and I guarantee you that he's gonna catch a lot of flack for speaking out so strongly on a political issue--especially speaking out against a series of bills being pushed--HARD--by Republican Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican-held state legislature.
An urgent call to action from Superintendent Rob Glass Posted: November 28, 2012
Dear Parents and Citizens: This is an urgent call to action affecting your Bloomfield Hills Schools and public education in Michigan. A package of bills designed to corporatize and dismantle public education is being hastily pushed through this current ‘lame duck’ legislative session. If we do not take immediate action, I believe great damage will be done to public education, including our school system. We have just three weeks to take action before it’s too late. The bills are: House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358: Would expand a separate and statewide school district (the EAA) overseen by a governor-appointed chancellor and functioning outside the authority of the State Board of Education or state school superintendent. These schools are exempt from the same laws and quality measures of community-governed public schools. The EAA can seize unused school buildings (built and financed by local taxpayers) and force sale or lease to charter, non-public or EAA schools. House Bill 5923: Creates several new forms of charter and online schools with no limit on the number. Bundled with HB 6004/SB1358, many of these schools could be created by the EAA. Public schools are not allowed to create these new schools unless they charter them. Selective enrollment/dis-enrollment policies will likely lead to greater segregation in our public schools. This bill creates new schools without changing the overall funding available, further diluting resources for community-governed public schools. Senate Bill 620: Known as the ‘Parent Trigger’ bill, this would allow the lowest achieving 5% of schools to be converted to a charter school while allowing parents or teachers to petition for the desired reform model. This bill will not directly affect our district, but disenfranchises voters, ends their local control, and unconstitutionally hands taxpayer-owned property over to for-profit companies. Characterized as parent-empowerment, this bill does little to develop deep, community-wide parent engagement and organization. I’ve never considered myself a conspiracy theorist—until now. This package of bills is the latest in a yearlong barrage of ideologically-driven bills designed to weaken and defund locally-controlled public education, handing scarce taxpayer dollars over to for-profit entities operating under a different set of rules. I believe this is fundamentally wrong. State School Superintendent Mike Flanagan and State Board of Education President John Austin and others have also expressed various concerns, as has the Detroit Free Press. We embrace change, innovation and personalization.We’re passionate about providing choices and options for students. We compete strongly in the educational marketplace. We must never stop improving. This is not a laissez faire plea to defend the status quo. This is about making sure this tidal wave of untested legislation does not sweep away the valued programs our local community has proudly built into its cherished school system. If you are concerned about these bills, please do the following: --Attend one of the following grassroots legislative meetings. --Stay informed by registering for updates through ‘Capwiz.’ --Call and e-mail your legislator and respectfully ask them to OPPOSE these bills (see contact information below). --Enlist ten others to do the same, and please remain active. Public education in Michigan can and must remain strong, but it will only happen if we act NOW. Sincerely, Rob Glass, Superintendent Legislative Contact information: Governor Rick Snyder P.O. Box 30013 Lansing, MI 48909 Email Address: Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov Tel: 517.335.7858 (Constituent Services) 41st State Rep District (Troy) Representative Marty Knollenberg (R) N0890 House Office Building P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909 Email Address: MartyKnollenberg@house.mi.gov Tel: 517.373.1783 13th State Senate District (City BH) Senator John Pappageorge (R) 1020 Farnum Building P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909-7536 Email Address: SenJPappageorge@senate.michigan.gov Tel: 517.373.2523 40th State Rep District (Blfld. Twp/City) Representative Chuck Moss (R) S0889 House Office Building P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909 Email: ChuckMoss@house.mi.gov Tel: 517.373.8670 15th State Senate District (West Bloomfield) Senator Mike Kowall (R) 305 Farnum Building P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909 Email: SenMKowall@senate.michigan.gov Tel: 517.373.1758 39th State Rep District (West Bloomfield) Representative Lisa Brown (D) S0888 House Office Building P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Email: email@example.com Tel: 517.373.1799 ----- Last night I attended a meeting at which Dave Randels, the Asst. Director of Govt. Relations & Pupil Services for Oakland County Schools (that's quite a title!) gave a presentation in which he broke down these bills and what they mean. In short, it would be devastating to the entire Michigan public school system. It's effectively a wholesale corporate takeover of the schools, with the new "statewide district" bypassing all local control, local school boards, and even the state board of education and the legislature itself, reporting directly to the Governor. Even worse, the "three weeks" timeline mentioned by Mr. Glass may already be obsolete; I have it on good authority that the state House may be voting on the first of these bills, HB 6004 as early as TOMORROW, Thursday the 29th. Update: Dammit, yep, it's on the official schedule for tomorrow already. Originally posted to Brainwrap on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:03 PM PST. Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project. Tags Bloomfield Hills charter schools corporatization Education Michigan Motor City Kossacks privatization public education Recommended vouchers Comment Preferences expand shrink hide Auto Refresh? 75 comments | Permalink * [new] Tip Jar (289+ / 0-) by Brainwrap on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:03:27 PM PST * [new] The lame ducks in MI really working overtime (59+ / 0-) They're also trying to get tax exemptions for fetuses. Their strategy seems to be "propose as much random @!$%# as possible and if any of it gets thru we win!" To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean. by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:13:57 PM PST * [new] Wow, Michigan Republicans are daring to dive... (19+ / 0-) headfirst into dark waters that even their co-conspirators in the Sunshine State haven't ventured. Time to rally, Michiganders! (in the immortal words of former/future Speaker Nancy Pelosi:) "Don't agonize... organize!" "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley by markthshark on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:01:45 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Don't forget Right to Work (for less) legislation! (3+ / 0-) by henrythefifth on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:59:09 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] This is the real right wing agenda (82+ / 0-) the death of critical analysis skills within a generation - legislature by legislature. by stevej on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:14:57 PM PST * [new] This..secceding by legislative agendas passed (18+ / 0-) We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America by Vetwife on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:18:04 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] So long as they can make profit in dumbing (12+ / 0-) each generation down, at least. Bet that charter school deals are have already been planned. "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way." by wader on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:37:59 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] I think charter schools are about providing... (2+ / 0-) ...public education at a much lower price point. This diary is about Michigan, but many Dem mayors and governors are doing the same. Instead of going to war with the public teachers union, they slowly expand the charter school footprint, with its much lower operating costs. It's all about the money. Public schools are funded via property taxes, mostly, and those taxes have stagnated. So what's a public official to do? In Detroit, you may pay as much as 8% of property value in property taxes per year. Should that increase to 12% of market value per year? Of course not. I see two possible solutions. (i) Massive consolidation of school districts. Why should there be so many superintendents (public servants) earning, in some cases, over 200k per year, when far fewer are required. Or so many administrative personnel doing the same job across any given state. In fact, if my memory doesn't fail me, I believe that two MI school districts voted to merge a couple of weeks ago. (ii) Charter schools continue to make inroads. I would recommend that public school teachers rally around (i), so that their jobs/salaries/benefits are preserved. Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org by PatriciaVa on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:10:58 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] I suggest we start looking at all the (36+ / 0-) republican lame duck congress in each state. I just can't wait till I look up Florida. We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America by Vetwife on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:16:22 PM PST * [new] We might be getting "cold Koch'd" on this (39+ / 0-) Remember the Koch Brothers were hoping to distract folks in WI from their real goal -- privatizing utilities. They knew a huge fuss would be stirred up over union busting but they hoped their plan to buy up crucial utilities on the cheap to "save Wisconsin from its budget woes" would go unnoticed. Fortunately it was spotted, called out, and halted. Could something similar be going on here in MI? Is all of this crazy assed, hair brained, tea soaked legislation designed to distract us while some grand theft of the public trust being pulled off? Or has Michigan already been robbed so completely there's nothing left to take? To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean. by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:27:31 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Giving all these incentives and breaks to (8+ / 0-) charter schools and not requiring them to operate under state law is a big deal. Creating an entirely new education system that doesn't have to abide by state law, but is still funded by the taxpayers? That is a big deal. by rosarugosa on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:26:38 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] I'll agree this is a big deal (4+ / 0-) It may be the one they were hoping to slip by unnoticed. We know they're trying to cram "Right to Work (for less)" through. You may have heard about their insane plan to give fetuses tax breaks. This could've been the stealth item on the agenda. But given there are already three crazy ass proposals why should we expect there aren't any more hiding, effectively, in plain-sight? To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean. by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:31:44 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] You are probably right. (3+ / 0-) I thought the Alec strategy was to put out a bunch of bills at once so that people didn't know which to focus on or which to fight. by rosarugosa on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:35:52 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] They are trying to buy up public water sources (5+ / 0-) and water rights. They especially like small town water companies. We fought them in our small town in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Felton, CA. Google F.L.O.W. Friends of Locally Owned Water. They even made a documentary about our fight. We won. We were called the Mouse that Roared. "Republicans are the party that says that government doesn't work, then they get elected and prove it."-- PJ O'Rourke by nocynicism on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:46:39 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] YOU TOTALLY ROCK! (1+ / 0-) That is local activism at its finest. I am in awe of you and your group. To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean. by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:09:34 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Awesome!!!!! (1+ / 0-) Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org by PatriciaVa on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:15:43 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] That is an excellent idea. n/t (16+ / 0-) Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:34:09 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Damn. These bastard Republicans never give up. (28+ / 0-) The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi by HoundDog on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:18:14 PM PST * [new] Money and power plays to overcome their fears of (7+ / 0-) losing access to money and power, I figure. Fear is a black hole. "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way." by wader on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:39:21 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] It's Not the Republicans. The Republicans Work for (15+ / 0-) the bastards who never give up. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam" by Gooserock on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:43:07 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] This! (0+ / 0-) YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS. by raincrow on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:43:48 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Rich, Rich, Rich Corporatists don't give up. (12+ / 0-) Why should they? They seem to hold all the cards. Time is a long river. by phonegery on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:52:01 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] I know...I feel like we're constantly at war.. (9+ / 0-) with them. This is the new normal I guess! Arrogance is ignorance matured. by jennyp on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:54:42 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] We've always been at war with them but we (4+ / 0-) haven't always noticed. Do you really think the robber baron's of the Gilded Age went away? Sure, they got dealt some blows with antitrust laws and unions but they were making a comeback. Who ran the country into the ground in the 20's? It wasn't the working class, that's for damn sure. And they don't like losing, they started planning to tear down Social Security before Hitler rolled into Poland. They formed a strategy in the 50's to split working class against each other with wedges like religion and civil rights. When Nixon launched the reborn Southern Strategy they drew blood. With Reagan they hit the jugular vein and being the vampires they are they've never stopped sucking the life blood out of the country. To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean. by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:42:35 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] The History Channel is running a series on (3+ / 0-) The Men Who Built America. It is amazing how the same battles play out time and again--McKinley was a puppet for the rich and his VP Teddy Roosevelt was engineered into place by the 1% who wanted to render him powerless. When McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt was able to turn things around--a total backfire on the rich who placed him in the VP slot to keep him at bay. Once McKinley was out of the way, Roosevelt was able to make progress--for a time. These people are always doing whatever they can to screw the 98%. They have to be continuously and relentlessly dealt with. They have never, nor will ever, go away on their own. If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs. by livjack on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:57:13 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Those who forget history... (1+ / 0-) Yeah, it is rather depressing how little we seem to learn from the past. To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean. by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:05:33 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Not a resident but tipped and rec'd (36+ / 0-) I'm sick of the attempted destruction of American education to continue to enrich corporatists. Just another attempt to move money up to the 1% and the good of America and its children be damned. Like the current austerity movement as a whole, fueled by propaganda and sneak attacks, to avoid transparency and accountability to the people. by blueoasis on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:19:25 PM PST * [new] Republicans have curious ideas about education (22+ / 0-) It's all about earning not learning. If cats could blog, they wouldn't by crystal eyes on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:26:32 PM PST * [new] Everything is About Capital. (10+ / 0-) It's about ending government imposing taxes to pay for promoting the general welfare. As an entire concept. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam" by Gooserock on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:44:14 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Of course. They are going to sell off the entire (24+ / 0-) ... public school system to private profiteers. All part of the ALEC agenda. by MichiJayJay on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:33:55 PM PST * [new] Not Sadly Limited to ALEC nt (5+ / 0-) We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam" by Gooserock on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:44:33 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Sounds like they aren't even "selling" the schools (12+ / 0-) on fair market terms either. They are "seizing" the school buildings that were built and financed by taxpayers and then forcibly selling (fire sale giveaway prices). ...the EAA can seize unused school buildings (built and financed by local taxpayers) and force sale or lease to charter, non-public or EAA schools. This is dastardly. Pure sick evil to takeover and destroy our public education. It took hundreds of years to built these public institutions for the people and these mofos want to dismantle it. One may live without bread, but not without roses. ~Jean Richepin Bread & Roses by bronte17 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:59:40 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] What's the ROI to the taxpayers on (0+ / 0-) unused school buildings? by valion on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:17:35 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Education/Smedgecation. It is all about moving tax (18+ / 0-) payers' money into private GOP-backer pockets. Save the Home Planet by Mayfly on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:35:34 PM PST * [new] And in the process (8+ / 0-) create a huge Republican leaning lobbying interest that, once entrenched, will be very difficult to excise from the body politic. I am convinced this is the central motive behind all the corporatization of formerly public functions. It is hard to overestimate the self perpetuating source of power this will be for conservative politicians. Industries that live and die by their lobbying efforts do not die easily. The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman by Pirogue on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:53:08 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Not all about that (2+ / 0-) moving tax payers' money into private GOP-backer pockets. Sure, that is a serious motivator--money always talks. And those GOP investors are pissed that they lost--so you know they've got their government toadies on all levels now, working triple-time in lame-duck sessions from coast to coast, to do as much damage as they can, to get as much money as they can, while they still can. But make no mistake--part of this long-term goal by these insidious one-percenters is to dumb down enough generations to sweep away that pesky American Constitution with the blessings and votes of the other 99. They'll never implement full austerity as long as that @!$%#'s the law of the land, and they will keep chipping away at it unless we stop them. It is time to #Occupy Media. by lunachickie on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:42:45 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] TWEET to RACHEL MADDOW (17+ / 0-) She has covered what's happening in Michigan for some time now. by Lovepolitics2008 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:36:53 PM PST * [new] Thanks BW (11+ / 0-) My daughter is organizing a group headed to Lansing in the morning to protest "Right to Work." Looks like they'll have a full day. "The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg by poe on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:37:23 PM PST * [new] I smell Koch. (n/t) (6+ / 0-) Ich bin ein Wisconsiner! by Apphouse50 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:40:27 PM PST * [new] Good luck Michigan (12+ / 0-) Love, Georgia. We just lost our battle. by Burned on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:42:56 PM PST * [new] Obama's Friend Michelle Rhee (5+ / 0-) Is having a glass of champagne tonight. "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one." by bink on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:45:50 PM PST * [new] I am a Michigan Resident, this hit Detroit (16+ / 0-) and majority-minority and not many folks said a word. This statewide takeover was bound to happen but since it is Detroit, outer counties stayed silent. In Detroit, our current Emergency Financial Manager, Roy Roberts sits on the EA board. They are competing for the same resources as DPS from the state so which entity will get financing? The EA, of course. We have to fight back! These Republicans are so hell-bent on making Michigan an Ayn Rand wet dream!!! "If it's somebody from The Bronx versus anybody else... always vote on the person from The Bronx."- Keith Olbermann by shanay on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:49:16 PM PST * [new] @!$%# (9+ / 0-) is there ANY public good these people are above @!$%#ing with? Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72 by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:49:50 PM PST * [new] No. (8+ / 0-) I know the questions rhetorical, but it needs emphasis. Too many, though not a majority I think, of people on the left want to believe there is some good behind these scams. There isn't and it can't be pointed out too many times. by blueoasis on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:58:05 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Depends (2+ / 0-) if there's public money to pass out among cronies, then no. Yeah, on second thought that just about covers anything. Oh yeah they prefer high crime rates and civic fear and unrest so that it's easier to give money to build a police state. So there's that. Intelligent Designer Laments Lapse in Intelligence by mrblifil on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:34:06 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Educators in MI are on edge (24+ / 0-) We need all the help we can get. There is no end to the barrage of crap we have gotten the last few years in term of unlawful pulling of extra money out for retirement, changing what is negotiable under contract, and requiring minimum percentage of payment for health care premiums even though teachers through the years have negotiated smaller pay for greater health benefits. Now we have both smaller pay and worse/more expensive health care. Also, it is illegal for public workers to strike in Michigan. We have no recourse to do what the Chicago teachers did or we will be docked fines for every day we are on strike and eventually fired. We may lose our teaching licenses if we strike. by Mlle L on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:52:58 PM PST * [new] Uh-huh... illegal to strike (3+ / 0-) Until it's unbearable and someone (or two or three or hundreds) break down that damn freedom-sucking law. And the people will say "Hell yeah! Tangle with a Wolverine again." One may live without bread, but not without roses. ~Jean Richepin Bread & Roses by bronte17 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:04:31 PM PST [ Parent ] * [new] Tipped & Recc'd (11+ / 0-) I see that this has been republished to ALTP. Not to put too fine a point on it but, IT'S @!$%#ING ALEC! The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem. by Azazello on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:56:18 PM PST