UPDATE MARCH 20, 2013: Although this stupid bill made it out of committee unamended (boo!), it still needs approval from the House–so call or email your rep ASAP and repeatedly! The sample letter below still applies. Thanks!
If you live in Michigan and give a crap about local-control of the public schools you pay for, please contact your rep *right this second*–you can even crib from my letter, included below!
The state House Education Committee will likely vote this afternoon on House Bill 4369, which expands the Education Achievement Authority “takeover” district (currently dicking things up big time in Muskegon Heights and throughout Detroit) to a statewide entity . I wrote about this extensively back in December–the bill numbers are different, but the bad plan remains the same. The website of the Michigan Educator’s Association (I.e., my wife’s union) has a concise bit on the current bill.
Here’s the letter I just sent. You can use it if you want, modify it how you choose, customize it to best speak to your concerns and community–just write your rep and do it *RIGHT NOW!*:
Please do everything you can to oppose any expansion of Michigan’s as-of-yet unproven Education Achievement Authority, and to limit the implicit privatization of public education in Michigan. This includes opposing House Bill 4369 (which expand the Education Achievement Authority to a statewide entity composed of charter schools). I have deeply held philosophical reasons for opposing the operation of our public schools on a for-profit basis.
Handing over our public institutions – and tax dollars – to private companies with no demonstrable record of success, and doing so without strict oversight, flies in the face of reason and should offend rational, honest public servants on both sides of the aisle.
For a detailed analysis of the hazards of pitfalls inherent in the EAA, charter schools, and “cyber” schools, please take a few minutes to read this 2012 article by Ann Arbor Chronicle columnist David Erik Nelson: http://annarborchronicle.com/?p=102112
Thank you for your time, consideration, and good faith.
(Obviously, plugging my old column is totally optional–but the details are all there, and the concerns for citizens laid out clearly, with citations and everything!)
The MEA suggests contacting both your own rep and the entire House Education Committee. I agree with this strategy; info for the entire Committee is pasted below:
(And here’s all those emails in one easy-to-copy&paste-string: LisaLyons@house.mi.gov, RayFranz@house.mi.gov, HughCrawford@house.mi.gov, KevinDaley@house.mi.gov, BobGenetski@house.mi.gov, PeteLund@house.mi.gov, TomMcMillin@house.mi.gov, ThomasHooker@house.mi.gov, BradJacobsen@house.mi.gov, AmandaPrice@house.mi.gov, KenYonker@house.mi.gov, EllenLipton@house.mi.gov, DavidKnezek@house.mi.gov, WinnieBrinks@house.mi.gov, ThomasStallworth@house.mi.gov, ColleneLamonte@house.mi.gov, TheresaAbed@house.mi.gov)
Thanks! GO FORTH AND HASSLE YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES! Be the Boss!