From failing test scores to rundown buildings, District 1’s schools are struggling. The clearest path to success is a high quality education. EVERY child in Michigan deserves a world class education, regardless of what school they attend. As a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, I will support legislation that:
- Increases per-pupil funding. The Michigan Education Finance Study shows that per-pupil funding in Michigan is too low to meet the needs of students. We MUST work towards a better way to fund our schools.
- Ends the failed “Schools of Choice” experiment.
- Holds ALL schools accountable. Public, charter, for-profit and private schools MUST be held to the exact same standards of transparency and accountability.
- Ensures that our children's teachers do not learn as they go. When the Legislature passed HB 5384 (the bailout of Detroit Public Schools), language was included that allowed DPS to hire non-certified teachers. I strongly oppose non-certified teachers teaching academic subjects in our public schools.
- Gives DPS newly elected School Board a chance to lead. As many as a third of Detroit Public Schools could be closed, due to a recent report from the School Reform Office. These closures could leave some students over 30 minutes away from the nearest school. As over half of the schools on the closure list are participants in Michigan's failed Education Achievement Authority experiment, the newly elected Detroit School Board should be given the time to turn these schools around.
- Diversifies the job skills of Michiganians. This will increase the marketability of our state and draw new investment to Michigan, creating jobs. We have allowed our High Schools and Community Colleges to be stripped of agricultural and skilled trades education, leaving these groups unable to recruit qualified trainees. To guarantee that our children have the skills they need to find jobs, we MUST invest in skilled trades, medical and agricultural education in our high schools and community colleges.
- Makes higher education more accessible. Michigan has the 6th highest in-state tuition in the nation. This cost prevents talented students without means from attending higher education. In order to ensure that the skilled trades, medical, agricultural and other professions have access to a quality talent pool, we should allow community colleges to offer four year degrees in areas of need.
- Stands up to those trying to privatize our schools. Grosse Pointe Public Schools (GPPS) is currently proposing privatization of custodial staff and hall monitors in an effort to address a $2.4 million budget shortfall. This budget shortfall is due to declining enrollment and clerical errors in the business office. Previous instances of privatization have been troublesome for GPPS in the past. Privatization has not worked with our substitute teachers, it has not worked with Sodexho taking over our food service system and it will not work with our custodial staff and hall monitors.