Dear Parents and Citizens: This is an urgent call to action
affecting your Bloomfield Hills Schools and public education in
Michigan. A package of bills designed to corporatize and dismantle
public education is being hastily pushed through this current ‘lame
duck’ legislative session. If we do not take immediate action, I believe
great damage will be done to public education, including our school
system. We have just three weeks to take action before it’s too late.
The bills are:
House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358: Would expand a separate and
statewide school district (the EAA) overseen by a governor-appointed
chancellor and functioning outside the authority of the State Board of
Education or state school superintendent. These schools are exempt from
the same laws and quality measures of community-governed public schools.
The EAA can seize unused school buildings (built and financed by local
taxpayers) and force sale or lease to charter, non-public or EAA
House Bill 5923: Creates several new forms of charter and online
schools with no limit on the number. Bundled with HB 6004/SB1358, many
of these schools could be created by the EAA. Public schools are not
allowed to create these new schools unless they charter them. Selective
enrollment/dis-enrollment policies will likely lead to greater
segregation in our public schools. This bill creates new schools without
changing the overall funding available, further diluting resources for
community-governed public schools.
Senate Bill 620: Known as the ‘Parent Trigger’ bill, this would
allow the lowest achieving 5% of schools to be converted to a charter
school while allowing parents or teachers to petition for the desired
reform model. This bill will not directly affect our district, but
disenfranchises voters, ends their local control, and unconstitutionally
hands taxpayer-owned property over to for-profit companies.
Characterized as parent-empowerment, this bill does little to develop
deep, community-wide parent engagement and organization.
I’ve never considered myself a
conspiracy theorist—until now. This package of bills is the latest in a
yearlong barrage of ideologically-driven bills designed to weaken and
defund locally-controlled public education, handing scarce taxpayer
dollars over to for-profit entities operating under a different set of
rules. I believe this is fundamentally wrong. State School
Superintendent Mike Flanagan and State Board of Education President John
Austin and others have also expressed various concerns, as has the
Detroit Free Press.
If you are concerned about these bills, please do the following:
Attend one of the following grassroots legislative meetings.
Stay informed by registering for updates through ‘Capwiz.’
Call and e-mail your legislator and respectfully ask them to OPPOSE these bills
Enlist ten others to do the same, and please remain active.
Your voice matters! Your opinion matters! Please contact your
representatives now and make sure they hear you!!! To make it easier,
This is a great site with action oriented recommendations including
writing your legislators – after you confirm your zip code it will
connect you to the legislator in your district – please use this site to
send off letters and pass on to anyone who can help.
Rob Glass, Superintendent
Bloomfield Hills Schools