To be frank, these bills are about “cherry picking” students and setting the stage for vouchers that will remove a community of students away from the public schools for the purpose of profit off of the least expensive students to educate. As Dr. Markavitch said yesterday (at Rochester High School), we should be about establishing policies that are about “students that are learning, not about students that represent earnings.”
Fundamentally, what this would mean for a family with a child in the Grosse Pointe Schools is a complete disruption in the foundation of programs and services that the district has come to enjoy for their children and have come to expect and deserve for their children. We may find that with the distribution of funds to an unlimited number of charter and cyber schools throughout the state, the amount of funds to continue to support educational programs in Grosse Pointe will become less and less. Since 2008, we have watched our per pupil funding be eroded by $655/per student. With over 8,000 students in our district, we are receiving over $5 million less in state funding while the number of charter schools (many that are unproven and not successful) have increased. As our numbers may decrease in the district, we may need to start considering closing schools. This is detrimental for our community where we take pride in the fact that our students can walk to their neighborhood school. Instead, the EAA may come in and use the tax funded building in GP that has now closed and use it (without funding to the GPPSS and without cost to the EAA) for the purpose of expanding their authority in a statewide school district and expand it to one of these specialized charter schools as proposed in SB 5923.
Our students could now walk past their old school and watch students from another community now utilize the local GP tax funded building for their own purpose.
There are concerns regarding the rigor with the cyber schools of K12, Inc. and Connections and attempts by GP resident students to use these classes for credit in our school system. It decreases the pride, value, and commitment of a HS diploma from the GPPSS. For your daughter, each school year could be inconsistent in the district's ability to plan for staffing, class levels, class sizes, peer groups, programs, and length of school day/year. The ability to plan for the upcoming year and throughout the school year would be in a constant evolving state of upheaval. As parents would have the right to move in and out of the public schools per a proposed voucher and specialized program or school, the ability of the district to put together a foundation of programs and services would be continuously disrupted by these changes.
My concern is that these bills are experimenting with the core of the education of your child and the other children affected by these changes. The proposals and bills by the legislators are not shown to be research-based nor do they have a proven success rate of student learning and growth.
Thank you….thank you for taking the time to listen and be invested in the greatest part of our democratic society – The Education of our Youth.
In a separate blog, I will individually present information related to HB6004/SB1358, HB 5923, and the Oxford Foundation writen proposal (http://www.oxfordfoundationmi.com ).