Public funding for private education doesn’t ADD UP

“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!

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Video transcript:

“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.  

Your Representatives and Senators need to hear from you today.

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

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Blog Editor: Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools

ANDMORE about OAKLAND SCHOOLS

 Oakland Schools • 2111 Pontiac Lake Road • Waterford, MI 48328-2736 • 248.209.2000

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2 comments

  1. Steve Hanley · · Reply

    This is valid point regarding how $5M in taxpayer money may be spent in areas other than the classroom and improving student proficiency. Let’s also ask ourselves if the taxpayer money used to produce and create this video would have better been spent in the classroom. This year we are funding two Lobbyist and Department Assistant. Based on the 2017 Budget it appears we plan to increase this expense. In 2015/16 we have issued a check to the Tri-County Alliance and other organizations who do political lobbying on our behalf. We sent representatives to Advocacy training in New Orleans and Arlington, VA. We are sending district employees to Lansing and other communities to push advocacy on legislation and political agendas (i.e.: ending term limits). Let’s ask ourselves if we are being truly transparent to the residents of Oakland County with our budget documents and spending when it comes to political advocacy and agendas. Wouldn’t the money used on this video be better spent on Special Education Teachers and Reading Consultants.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Mr. Hanley. Michigan needs all children educated to their fullest potential so they can think critically and contribute purposefully to their local, national and global communities. As an advocate for this purpose, Oakland Schools holds itself accountable to high standards for student learning and works to inform and influence public policy and public opinion about issues that impact our ability to educate ALL children. This determines our budget, is the mission that fuels expenditures, and is the reason for our public voice. We carry out our advocacy role by working directly with local, county, state, and federal governments and by forming alliances with other education agencies and associations. In fact, one of our current strategic goals is to advocate for public education — and we hope to achieve public policy and legislation which IMPOROVES the adequacy, equity, predictability and stability of public education funding in Michigan at all levels. #ALLstudents

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