“FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, the legislature in Lansing is attempting to fund private schools with taxpayer funds”…
VIEW this 3 minute video with Oakland Schools Superintendent Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, and learn what you need to know!
“Last year the attempt failed early in the House of Representatives. This year the idea has spread to the Senate and appears to have staying power. This is very troubling and very dangerous.
Some politicians in Lansing would like nothing more than to take the limited tax dollars that fund Michigan’s K-12 public schools and divert them to religious and private schools.
They’ve tried over and over again for years and continuously fail.
In fact, Michigan policy dealing with public aid to nonpublic schools has a long history.
As documented by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, in 1929 legislative policy forbid direct support of nonpublic schools with public funds. Laws providing for allowance of indirect aid to non-public schools were passed in 1939 and amended in 1963 and 1965.
In 1970 Proposal C was passed to amend the Constitution to state “no public monies or property shall be appropriated … directly or indirectly to … nonpublic schools.”
In 1978 there was an attempt to garner voter support for vouchers but it was defeated at the polls by a staggering 74.3 percent.
Voters were asked again in 2000 and rejected the measure with a 31 to 69 percent margin
Both times the ballot issues were voted DOWN and voters upheld the Constitution. So WHY do our legislators continue to ignore the public’s vote?
The latest attempt in this year’s budget should be seen as trial balloon.
The $5 million set aside to go to private schools in this year’s legislative school aid budgets is meant to be a foot in the door – so small almost nobody will notice.
If they are successful, the private and religious school lobbyists will undoubtedly ask for a little more next year.
And they won’t quit until they have gotten their final goal of private and religious school vouchers paid for with YOUR tax dollars and taking money from OUR public schools.
But, let’s be very clear. This is a violation of the will of Michigan’s people as documented in our state’s Constitution and expressed over and over again at the polls.
Your elected representative swore an oath to protect the Constitution, but with this act of sending money to private schools, some in Lansing are clearly violating that oath.
But it’s not too late. Budgets won’t be finalized until late May.
Tell them to make good on their sworn oath. Urge them to keep taxpayer dollars meant for our public schools IN our PUBLIC schools.”
~ Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson
Blog Editor: Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools
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