Friday, September 09, 2011

Wave Goodbye to the Public School System

Fits right in with my earlier post about buyer's remorse. From a Gongwer tweet:

Huge news on "Off the Record" today. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville announces support for right-to-work bill for teachers.

Should be pretty obvious by now that this was never about "reforming" public education; this is about turning the entire public school system over to private profit, and destroying the MEA once and for all. Package the above with the privatization bills already introduced below:

Hundreds of school districts across the state, including several in the Thumb, have privatized some non-instructional services, such as food service, transportation and custodial, with the goal of saving money. Under legislation introduced Wednesday, teachers could be added to the list of positions that can be privatized.

The bill is part of a seven-bill proposal, which includes Senate Bills (SB) 618 – 624. It’s been dubbed as the Parent Empowerment Education Reform package.

Senate Bill 618, introduced by state Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), allows districts to outsource teachers and removes the cap on university-authorized charter schools and special high school academies in the state.


Also included in the package are:

• SB 619, which authorizes cyber schools.

• SB 620, which allows a public school to be converted to a charter school with a vote of parents and teachers.

• SB 621, which revises the conditions under which a public school may receive school aid for instruction to nonpublic school students.

• SB 622 and SB 623, which both address dual enrollment.

• SB 624, which requires school districts to participate in schools of choice.

Makes you wonder why Melton left the state, doesn't it. All his dreams are coming true.

I'm also left to wonder what a truthful campaign from the Republicans would have looked like in 2010. They never told us that they would pass massive tax cuts for business and then shift the burden onto citizens and public safety, and they never told us that they intended to privatize the public schools.

There is a reason for that. If they had, they wouldn't have been elected. Maybe one of these days we will learn, huh?

More: Paul Egan hits the wire with the story for all to see.

Previously, Richardville has joined Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in expressing a lack of interest in broader "right to work" legislation, despite a push by groups and some Republican lawmakers to pass such a bill.

Richardville sees a "right to teach" bill as being part of a broader series of education reforms now being dealt with in the Legislature, spokeswoman Amber McCann said.

"Do all teachers want to participate in the MEA (Michigan Education Association)," and do the dues paid to the union serve the purpose they once did? McCann paraphrased Richardville as having asked.

Do all teachers want to go to work at "Teachers R Us", and be subject to the whims of a for-profit company? Would they be beholden to the kids, or to the shareholders first? And, if we privatize the entire staff of a school system, how is that still a "public" school? Because we pay for the buildings and the right to hire these for-profit private companies?

And after that, we can do all the prisons, and the police and fire, and on and on... until there is no more "public" about anything anymore, except for the part where they are taking your tax dollars and putting them directly into the pockets of their wealthy corporate campaign donors, who will then turn around and make sure they stay in power.

It's the Republican Way. And so far, it's working.