Friday, March 5, 2010

A Message from Iris Salters Re: RTTT

The list of states who qualified for RTTT funds was officially released yesterday. Sixteen states qualified for funds, although Michigan was NOT one. States that qualified were: Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee.


As you can see Michigan was not one of the states. We will become the primary persons responsible for Michigan not receiving the funds. We know that is not true. It was their plan and they wrote it primarily in secret. Until the score sheets are made public, we will not know where Michigan lost points. You will be asked for your opinion. Hopefully these talking points listed below can help you with a response.

1. From the start, Michigan failed to embrace the collaborative
spirit President Obama called for under Race To The Top - the concerns of thousands of school employees were ignored by the state
superintendent and the Legislature. So while we're disappointed
that Michigan is not a finalist for RTTT funds, we can't say we're

2. While we now need to find ways to work with school districts to
implement these new laws and identify how to pay for the required
changes, it's important to remember that even if we'd received the
$400 million in one-time funding from the federal government, we'd
still face a huge funding crisis in Michigan's public schools.

3. We need long-term, balanced solutions to our school funding
crisis, like the comprehensive business tax incentive reform
called for in research released by MEA this afternoon. To end this
decade-long crisis, we must update our antiquated tax structure and
fix our broken school funding system - not rely on one-time federal
money or other quick fixes.

Iris K. Salters
MEA President