Our legislators in Lansing are now considering a plan that creates a single, statewide school district that is accountable to a board, not elected by the people, but instead appointed by the Governor. Not only is this district not governed by any local elections, it would operate without any oversight from the Michigan Department of Education. And your tax dollars would be sent to this new super-district without any approval from your elected representatives.
Under this plan, this new school district will be able to open schools anywhere it wants in the state. The bills even require a community governed local school district to sell or lease buildings to this new district if it wants to operate a school there.
These new schools are not required to meet the same quality requirements as local public schools – in fact, they need not follow the state’s assessment systems, making it impossible to compare school quality.
But the absolute worst part of the plan is that some of these schools will be managed by for profit operators and even corporations, and only some of our state’s students will be allowed to attend some of these schools. Our tax dollars for schools only open to select students, managed by for-profit companies that take our Michigan tax dollars out of state.
Thank you for the critical part you play in providing support to our schools. Although not perfect, it is our system of community schools that has built this nation. We are certain that this country cannot flourish without a free and appropriate education for all children.
Shawn Lewis-Lakin, Superintendent
Royal Oak Schools: A Community of Excellence