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Legislative and other action alerts to MIPFS supporters

Action alert: Don't let them take the public out of public ed!

Legislative leaders have committed to push through a long list of bills during this "lame duck" session, including two that could be devastating to public education as we know it.

I realize that sounds over-the-top, but take a look at the bills on the fast track:

  • House Bill 6004 makes a new state-wide school district, the Education Achievement Authority, which can take over the "bottom 5%" of schools, and perhaps others - while the local district has no say. The EAA is free to hand these schools over to for-profit charter management companies, and in fact it can charter new schools anywhere in the state (whether the schools there are failing or not). The EAA would be run by a board appointed by the Governor, and even the elected State Board of Education would have no say in its work.
  • House Bill 5923 would create a host of new forms of charter school, including selective admission schools, boarding schools, single-gender schools, and potential store-front schools operated by cultural organizations, businesses and other groups. Part of the mission given to the EAA in HB 6004 is to implement these provisions.

Find out more! Click below to read the full alert.

Special sections: 

MIPFS Legislative Update - curriculum changes (June 2012)

This message went out to our mailing list this morning. We’re reproducing it here for anyone who is not yet a subscriber to our list.

This newsletter focuses on the bills before the state House to make changes to the Michigan Merit Curriculum (the state’s high school graduation requirements). While the bills differ, they agree on eliminating the foreign language and arts requirements; they also reduce requirements in science, math, and social studies.

Action alert: school aid budget - let them know we're watching!

Where's your school funding?

Take Action!

State budget continues to dis-invest in education

Don't let it happen quietly! Our state lawmakers are about to pass a budget that keeps K-12 spending essentially flat, despite debilitating cuts over the last few years.

MIPFS Legislative Update - Budget issue (May 2012)

In case you aren’t on our mailing list, here is a copy of the May Legislative Update.

The topic is the state budget; included are an essay about the sad end of our state’s commitment to public education, links to recent articles on mipfs.org, an action alert on the state budget, and information about our work with the Michigan Organizing Collaborative on a statewide coalition of parent and community groups to support adequate school funding.

Truly, enough is enough

“I love empowering parents” – interim House Education chair Tom McMillin (R-Rochester) on passing SB 619

I am furious and disgusted.

Furious that once again, the education budgets now under discussion continue to strangulate our community-governed, local public schools. Disgusted that the raft of policies enacted in the last year which erode public education and public schools are described by their supporters as somehow “empowering parents.” Orwell couldn’t have done better.

Let’s review the last year in legislation, shall we?

SB 619 (Cyber Schools): our latest action alert

Please view the attached file to read our latest action alert on SB 619, which removes nearly all limits on completely-online “cyber” charter schools.

The bill is expected to come up for a vote in the House in the next new days, having passed the Senate last fall. MIPFS opposes the bill and calls on legislators to retain current law, which calls for a detailed report on cyber schools after two years of operation before more such schools are authorized or allowed to expand.

Departments: 

Action alert: charter school bill goes to Senate floor

Friends,

There is still time to let your state Senator know that your support Michigan's public schools and oppose the changes embodied in Senate Bill 618. That bill, now on the Senate floor, would:
  1. Remove any limits on the number of charter schools in Michigan;
  2. Allow charter schools to operate a network of schools under one charter, setting up shadow school districts;
  3. Permit school districts to contract-out instructional services (privatize teachers);
  4. Remove any requirements that staff of district-authorized charters, or teachers employed under contract with an outside body, be covered by existing collective bargaining agreements;
  5. Exempt charter school property from property taxes.
As you can see, this has less to do with improving the education of our children than it does with encouraging the growth of charter schools and the outsourcing of instruction.

Please take action now! Contact your state Senator about this bill!

> > Click here to read the full alert!

Action alert: "school choice," teacher privatization bill moves

 
Friends,
 
The Senate Education Committee is voting on a package of bills that would lift the cap on charter schools in Michigan and make other changes that threaten the health of our local school districts and our system of public education. The full Senate might vote on the bills very soon thereafter.
 
The legislation - a package of seven bills - covers a great deal of ground. But it is pretty easy to sum them up: the bills assume that traditional public schools and their teachers are the problem, and that more charter schools and less community involvement is the answer.
 
It's critical that all of us who support public education in Michigan tell our Senators that these bills are not the answer to improving public education in our state! Please use MIPFS's legislative action center to send a message to your Senate.
 
 
Departments: 

Legislative alert: "charter school package" could dramatically undermine our schools



Dear supporters of public education,

Much-anticipated legislation was introduced today that would dramatically reshape the public school landscape in Michigan. We cannot afford to wait and see how the legislative process works itself out - we must start making our voices heard now. Use the Michigan Parents for Schools advocacy system to contact your Senator!

The four-bill package, driven by co-sponsor Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Claire), was just made available to the public today - coinciding with the start of hearings on these bills in the Senate Education committee.

The bills can only be described as an assault on traditional public schools in this state.

Teacher evaluation: we need to get it right!

Dear friends,

Because you're a supporter of public education, I know you've heard from us about the "tenure bills" now before the Senate - and I'm sure you've heard from a lot of other groups, too. This is the first time we've felt we had to go in a different direction than some of our allies, and I wanted to explain personally why we're asking you to oppose these bills.

[Read our action alert here!]

People who support public schools can be split on this issue, so it helps to understand what the issues really are. Lots of folks who support these bills are focused on the need to reform teacher tenure. They want to make it less cumbersome to remove teachers who shouldn't be in the classroom. And that's perfectly reasonable, as long as there are protections to make it fair.

But that's not what these bills are really about.

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