House considers yet another 'education reform'
The House Education Committee is still avidly pursuing Gov. Snyder's education reform agenda, and this time cyber schools are taking center stage. The Committee Chair, Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R-Lowell), has come up with legislation that she says will "totally transform traditional public schools as we know it."
Her bill, HB 5923, is meant to encourage public schools to use technology specializing in a specific subject area that would appeal to a particular group of interested Michigan students and be available to tuition-paying students from around the world. Snyder's education advisor, Richard McLellan, currently rewriting the State Aid Act, is also responsible for drafting this new legislation.
With this bill, school districts would determine their specialized subject area and then selectively enroll students into that "school." While out-of-state and out-of-country students would be paying tuition, Michigan students could take different classes from different schools with the government picking up the cost. Schools could develop online academies that would allow non-public, home-schooled, migrant, homebound and hospitalized students to continue their education. Private businesses would also be allowed to set up a school to teach their employees' children.
State university or community college faculty would be "adjunct teachers" in this K-12 "system of highly selective schools."
While Lyons doesn't plan on pushing the bill right away--at least not until after the election--this "transformation" is just more evidence that public education is losing out to special interests who are now selectively choosing who will be educated and how they will be educated in the name of “education reform.”
Election 2012 clearly represents a choice of public education for everyone or a future public education where a few get to determine who the "public" in public education is. Your choices at the ballot box on Nov. 6 will be the deciding factor.