Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TAKE ACTION on the Governor's "School Finance" Proposal!

Fellow WLEA members,
This blog is about information THAT YOU MUST TAKE ACTION on!!!!

It is about the governor’s new “School Finance Reform” proposal that he had completed by the “Oxford Foundation” that is run by a man named Richard McLellan.  The governor calls it his “Any Time, Any Way, and At Any Pace” plan.  Neat title, but this plan is anything BUT that. 

**Although it was originally known as House Bill 5923, this is probably NOT going to have to go through the legislature.  The governor can make it part of his budget.

***It is a new way of distributing existing money….there is no NEW money.

****It is considered a “choice” plan……but it is a fancy name for voucher.  However, per pupil funding is not tied to a district, it could be split in as many ways as a student might want to choose many different options that are proposed.  Choices are “unbundled”.

For instance, a student could pick all or anything from the following list of options: early college classes, total online option, choose individual classes at a number of different schools, or could choose to attend a combination of schools (traditional, cyber, charter, commercial).  One school would be a “district of record”, but the per pupil funding would be split into as many parts as a student’s choice of options.

It calls for the 180 days of required schooling to be spread across the entire calendar year.

The proposal allows municipal schools, employer based schools, cultural organization schools, single gender schools, out-of-state schools, or international academies, for example.  Home school and non-public schools can receive money for students on the same basis as public schools.


Transportation is not required to be funded, so these choices may be limited to those who can get their own transportation.  This implies that it could easily become a plan only the economically-able will be able to take part in.  Only a small subset of students would be able to truly choose or truly be able to attend.  I have to wonder if schools will become groups of those who can handle/afford choice and those who are not able to afford or arrange their own travel to different "choices"?

Another part of this plan is to allow “adjunct instructors”.  People can become an adjunct instructor through a separate certification method than you as teachers now follow.

Tax payer money could be and will be going to private organizations.

Part of the governor’s plan awards students up to $10,000 in scholarship money for graduating early.  There is NO extra money provided for this, so where will that money come from?  It will come from per pupil funding for the rest of the students in Michigan.  Thus, defunding their education.

This plan includes proposals for educational methods that are not proven to be effective and the bill includes NO accountability for other “choices”.  This is tax money is being thrown to who knows what….

This takes the current per pupil funding from the state and reduces the share given to individual districts because no new funding is being provided.   This will mean that public schools will have LESS money to spend on students that remain as full time students in their home schools.

The Oakland County Intermediate District Superintendent, Vickie Markavitch, calls it “radical and dangerous”.  She says, "..a radical experiment, untried, unproven, and dangerous.  There is no plan to have accountability follow the child, no quality standards before opening the door to any and all school operators…..”.  

The superintendents of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County have joined together to form a group called the “Tri-County Alliance”.  They have put together a website and method by which people can ADVOCATE for PUBLIC EDUCATION.  It is open to everyone!

Please help to PROTECT PUBLIC EDUCATION, keep local control, and keeping tax dollars out of corporate hands!  Go to the Tri-County Alliance site and sign up using your home email!  They will alert you and give you tools to use to contact your legislators and other stakeholders regarding the governor’s proposal.  It is called, “Tri-County CapWiz”.

Here’s the url:    http://www.tricountyalliance.org